Aldi launches first self-service checkouts in major backflip

Aldi has launched its new self-serve checkouts in Australia with Sydney shoppers the first to try them.

The supermarket giant unveiled the checkouts at its store in Darlinghurst on Wednesday, which is among 10 NSW stores that will receive the new feature.

Unlike their Coles and Woolworths counterparts, the Aldi self-service checkouts appear to be card only with no cash options.

Self-serve checkouts seen at Aldi, Darlinghurst.
Aldi at Darlinghurst now has self-serve checkouts. Source: Yahoo News Australia

Other than that, most other features appear to be similar, including a weighted area for bags and a scale for fresh produce.

“We make business decisions in line with our low-cost model so we can consistently provide high quality groceries at the lowest prices," an Aldi Australia spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

"Since self-serve checkouts entered the Australian grocery sector we’ve been watching with keen interest the value and efficiencies they drive for business as well as the convenience they provide customers."

The new checkouts are part of a trial, the spokesperson said. Each of the 10 stores will have between six and eight machines installed.

Aldi backflips after shutting down plans for self-service kiosks

It’s a huge change in tune after Aldi Australia told Yahoo Finance in 2019 it would not be introducing self-serve checkouts in Australia.

“We currently have no plans to trial stores with self-service checkouts,” an Aldi spokesperson said.

“Feedback has told us that our shoppers prefer face-to-face interactions at registers, and that they are an important part of their in-store experience.

“Our current store format enables us to focus on creating the best possible in-store experience, while continuing to deliver high-quality products at permanently low prices.”

Aldi at Darlinghurst in Sydney is seen with self-service checkouts.
The new checkouts appear to be card only. Source: Yahoo News Australia

It reinforced what Aldi told the Sydney Morning Herald.

A spokesman told the paper that Aldi checkouts operate with “industry-leading efficiency”, and that Aldi’s policy of having multiple barcodes on packaging makes scanning products a quicker task for staff.

Aldi introduced self-service checkouts to its UK supermarkets last year to speed up transactions during the Covid-19 pandemic, Retail Gazette reported.

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