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How Aldi's self-checkouts differ from Coles and Woolworths: 'Highly irregular'

Shoppers have started to take notice of differences at Aldi self-checkouts.

While self-service checkouts are a source of irritation for many shoppers across Australia, it appears Aldi customers have been getting a much smoother experience paying for their groceries.

At Aldi stores, not all self-checkouts appear to have a responsive weight plate in the bagging area, unlike those at Coles and Woolworths, where shoppers are dodging error messages which usually flash up and require staff assistance before they can proceed. When items are not placed in the bagging area after being scanned at these Aldi stores there is seemingly no ramification.

This was evident at five stores in Sydney including Bondi, Broadway, Darlinghurst, East Gardens and Waterloo, meaning shoppers could simply scan the item and bag it elsewhere, with the machine not checking if the weight matches that of the scanned item.

An Aldi self-checkout with the home screen ready for a shoppers to pay for their shopping. It appears five Sydney stores including Bondi, Broadway, Darlinghurst, East Gardens and Waterloo all did not have weight plates in the bagging area.
Not all Aldi self-checkouts have weight plates in the bagging area. Source: Yahoo News Australia

When contacted by Yahoo News Australia, Aldi declined to comment on the lack of responsive scales in the bagging area observed at stores.

Unresponsive weight plates in Aldi self-checkouts

It is unclear if these stores do not have a weight plate in self-checkout bagging areas, or if they've been switched off, consumer expert Gary Mortimer told Yahoo News.

"The only reason that would happen is there is a technical fault or the business has intentionally switched off the plate," he said. "It would seem highly irregular that they would establish new technology without that security mechanism built into it.

"We know that with Aldi, they do tend to 'sweat their assets'. In other words, they like to not spend a great deal of capital refurbishing stores and putting in new technologies because that's how they keep their prices lower."

Aldi first introduced self-checkouts in its stores in May, 2021 and have since rolled them out across the country. With a rise in supermarket theft in recent months causing competitors to introduce a range of new security measures it appears Aldi may have not followed suit to the same extent. Aldi has security cameras in store but does not utilise AI anti-theft technology like Coles and Woolworths.

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