- German supermarket operator Aldi Nord plans to test frictionless checkout technology from Israel-based computer vision startup Trigo at a new grocery store in Utrecht, the Netherlands, during a pilot set to begin in early 2022, the companies announced Friday.
- Aldi plans to depend entirely on Trigo's artificial intelligence-driven technology to ring up customers during the yearlong test at the approximately 4,300-square-foot supermarket.
- The test comes as a growing number of supermarket operators are testing out ways to incorporate frictionless technology into their store strategies.
Aldi Nord is looking to Trigo's technology to bring an added dose of speed to the highly efficient shopping experience the chain has long been known for.
Customers at the store where the test will be conducted — one of about 500 Aldi locations in the Netherlands — will use a QR code to identify themselves upon entry and exit. Shelf-mounted sensors will work in concert with an array of cameras on the ceiling to track shoppers and record their selections as they move around the store.
Aldi indicated in a press release that it selected the store for the test because it is located in a city-center location that will see a high volume of customers during the day. While the store will not have checkout counters, Aldi said it will have more workers than its other stores because "many new processes will be implemented."
Based in Essen, Germany, Aldi Nord operates Trader Joe's in the United States. The company is separate from Aldi Sud, which operates stores under the Aldi banner in the United States.
The arrangement with Aldi Nord marks Trigo's entry into the Dutch market and builds on its previously announced partnerships with European grocery chains like Germany's Rewe and U.K.-based Tesco, which are also testing the Israeli startup's computer vision technology. Rewe and Tesco are also investors in Trigo, which has raised more than $100 million to date.
Trigo is jockeying for attention with several other startups that are also focused on frictionless checkout, including Standard Cognition, Zippin and Grabango.
The space also includes Amazon, which has been rolling out its Just Walk Out checkout-free system in a growing number of its retail locations and announced last month that it will open two Whole Foods locations equipped with the technology next year. Amazon also offers Just Walk Out to other retailers.