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Aldi deploys checkout-free shopping in Chicago-area store

The 'Aldigo' frictionless store environment.
Aldi has deployed checkout-free technology at its store in Aurora, Ill. (Photo courtesy of Grabango).

Aldi has retrofitted a suburban Chicago location with a cashier-free checkout experience it calls "ALDIgo."

In what it described as the first major U.S. grocery retailer to deploy checkout-free technology in an existing, full-size store, Aldi implemented a Grabango frictionless shopping solution in an existing store in Aurora, Ill., without needing to make any changes to the store’s planogram or product displays. The technology, which uses computer vision to identify and keep track of every item in the store, allows shoppers to exit without waiting in line or scanning items.

To use the solution, customers shop the Aldi store as they normally do, including for fresh meat and seafood and organic produce as well as pantry staples. There are no special shelves, carts, or gates at the entrance. When done, shoppers can pay with either their credit or debit card, or with the Grabango app at the Grabango pay station near the exit. 

Alternatively, shoppers still have the option to check out with a traditional cashier. 

"It’s exciting to see a checkout-free capability live in one of our stores," said Eric Traxler, VP of IT at Aldi. "Aldi is continuously looking for new ways to be innovative and provide a best-in-class experience for our shoppers, and Aldigo is a great example of that in action." 

"The launch of Aldigo is a pivotal moment for the grocery industry," said Will Glaser, CEO of Grabango. "Although more challenging, it was important to us to launch this technology in a typical store and not one purpose-built for us. Aldiis one of the most innovative retailers in the world, and we are honored to partner with them to give their shoppers an exciting new way to shop the store."

Aldi is piloting checkout-free shopping as its store traffic grows. According to recent data from the foot traffic analytics provider, this past December, January, and February, Aldi saw increased year-over-year monthly visits of 20.3%, 19.2%, and 28.5%, respectively.

With more than 2,200 stores in 38 states, Batavia, Ill.-based Aldi U.S. employs 45,000-plus associates.

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