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Aldi store
Photograph: Alan Morris / Shutterstock

Aldi’s no-check-out supermarket is opening in Dalston

The chain has confirmed it is trialling the staffless shopping experience in E8

Written by
Chris Waywell
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Supermarket chain Aldi is the latest high-street giant to try doing away with traditional checkouts and, you know, actual people and shit. The brand is following the lead of Amazon Fresh, which now has six staffless stores in London, most recently in Dalston.

After some speculation, Aldi has officially revealed that its first trial checkoutless store will also be in Dalston. (Not quite sure why the good people of E8 are being treated to all these personality-free shops. Perhaps it’s something to do with self-involvement.) You could imagine some kind of fearsome Montagues v Capulets-style standoff between Aldi and Amazon except that obviously there aren’t going to be any staff at either venue, so any bitter internecine rivalry will have to be strictly to do with footfall and the bottom line. Which is frankly pretty dull. 

The new Aldi (its forty-ninth branch in the capital) will be accessible via a smartphone app, allowing customers to simply walk out with their purchases without the need to check out, then receive an email receipt. Despite not having any tills, the company claims that the branch will still employ the same number of staff as a regular London local branch, so it’s not entirely grim news for local supermarket workers. However, along with the news that IKEA is heading to Oxford Street and LIDL is doing its iconic £12.99 trainers again, there’s no doubt that the London high street is going to look very different in the future. Also, who do you complain to?

Aldi Local, Kingsland Shopping Centre. Opens Oct 14, 8am.

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