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Autonomous Store Visit (Aldi + AiFi)

Amazon Go was announced in 2015 and in 2022 Amazon begun selling the technology (renamed to "Just Walk Out") seriously.

The first ever active trade show attendance (to STIQs knowledge) for Just Walk Out was at The Retail Technology Show in the UK in April 2022. Amazon had showcased the technology elsewhere, but not actively selling it to visitors.

There are, of course, many different competitive solutions in the market and AiFi is one of these.

We first saw AiFi at NRF in New York in 2019.

In January 2022, Aldi opened an AiFi-powered autonomous store in Greenwich, called "Aldi Shop & Go" 

The Greenwich Aldi Shop & Go store is relatively large, perhaps similar to 2x convenience stores and is located relatively centrally in Greenwich, just next to a Sainsbury's store.

Aldi Shop & Go next to a Sainsburys store in Greenwich, London
See Aldi Shop & Go in the background...

Q: Why did Aldi select their Greenwhich store to trial AiFi? 

A: Greenwich is an affluent neighbourhood with many younger people. This may have influenced the selection.

To gain entrance to the store you need to download the Aldi app. Once you have done this, surely you should know how it works? Well, if you still have questions, there is information throughout.

 Just Shop & Go

When we visited around 10am on a Saturday, there were about 10 customers in the store. Mainly of a younger demographic. One mum and the rest individuals. 

In addition to customers, there was one shop assistant at the exit and another shop assistant was topping up the shelves. 

Image sensors at Aldi shop & go in greenwich

AiFi relies exclusively on image/sensory feedback exclusively and not on the shelf gravity sensors (weight/scales) that Amazon Go/Just Walk Out or other vendors use. 

In this aisle there are probably 20-25 cameras overhead. The cameras looked like they had distance sensors as well as visual sensors.   

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The exit assistant was good, because the shop would let me exit... so I had to be let out with the help of the assistant.

Total Spent: £0.25 (bottle of water), incl. £0.04VAT

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If you missed Just Walk Out - check out our blog on Retail Technology Show here or look at the picture below from NRF New York in January. Taken in Jacob K. Javitz centre during NRF Big Show. 

Amazon Just Walk Out Showcased at NRF, New York 2022


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