German discount giant Aldi has chosen a store in Greenwich as the site of its first checkout-free concept trial after reaffirming its bricks-and-mortar growth focus earlier this week.

Aldi logo 1

Aldi announced it would be trialling a tech-led, checkout-free store in London earlier this month and the discounter provided some more detail on the plans alongside a financial update earlier this week. 

Aldi has now said a trial in Greenwich “will use a system of cameras, sensors and artificial intelligence to identify the items customers take from shelves, alleviating the need to go through a checkout”.

The move comes after boss Giles Hurley doubled down on Aldi’s plans to open 100 new stores across the UK in the next two years. Hurley said the discounter would plough £1.3bn into plans to increase stores and distribution warehouse space, and also bring on 2,000 new staff

“We’re continuing to gain even more customers – with over 60% of households shopping with Aldi in the last year.

“By redefining the discount supermarket in the UK, creating more places and more ways to shop with us, we are excited to provide millions of new customers with access to Aldi’s award-winning quality and unbeatable value,” he said. 

Aldi’s move into checkout-free stores makes it the latest in the grocery sector, after it emerged over the summer that Tesco was opening its first technology-led store to the public in central London. 

The technology race is being led by Amazon, which has been steadily opening its till-free Fresh grocery concept across London since the beginning of the year.