Aldi has trademarked ‘Shop & Go’ with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), paving the way for the potential launch of a cashierless store format.  

The discounter filed the trademark application yesterday and Retail Week understands it could be connected to Aldi exploring its own cashierless store format, in the same vein as Amazon Fresh, which opened its first UK store in west London in March. 

Exact details of the trademark are thin, and the patent could also relate to possible new in-store scanning devices for customers, in the mould of Sainsbury’s SmartShop or Asda Scan & Go, or even the development of a customer facing app.

Last summer, Aldi Süd, the subsidiary of the German discounter that trades in the UK, put an open call out to technology companies on its website, looking for applications from firms developing “sensor-based item monitoring in stores” – with “real or near-real time” monitoring of stock levels. 

Aldi said at the time that solutions “should be scalable to thousands of stores without incurring prohibitive hardware costs” and could include shelf or basket sensors or “use of handheld devices or robots”.

The discount grocer refused to comment on the trademark, but a source close to the business said the new patent was not connected to any new online home-delivery service. 

While Aldi has remained committed to continuing to predominantly drive growth through expanding its store network in the UK, targeting 1,200 stores by 2025, it has been more active in branching into the technology space than Lidl

The discounter launched its first ever online service last April, selling food parcels to help self-isolating and vulnerable customers.

The following month, it launched a partnership with Deliveroo and expanded its click-and-collect offering to more than 200 of its stores across the UK.