Aldi opens first autonomous supermarket in Netherlands

  • August 1, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Israeli computer vision company Trigo is rolling out an AI-powered cashierless grocery store for German supermarket giant Aldi in the central Dutch city of Utrecht.

The 370m2 Aldi Shop & Go AI-powered autonomous supermarket opened last month and lets shoppers walk in, select their items and simply walk out without having to queue at the checkout or scan any items. Trigo applies its algorithms to shelf sensors and ceiling-mounted cameras that analyse anonymised shoppers’ movements and product choices. Payments and receipts are settled digitally.

The autonomous supermarket in Utrecht is Aldi’s first such store to open to the public in the Netherlands. It is also Trigo’s largest store format to date, with the company working to increase the size of its store formats.

“Trigo works closely with top retailers to convert their existing stores while maintaining their unique character and layout, and leveraging their physical grocery scale to roll out next-generation offerings securely,” said Michael Gabay, Trigo’s CEO. “We are particularly proud to work with Aldi Nord, who has been at the forefront of grocery retail innovation for nearly a century.”

The Aldi Nord group is active in nine European countries, employing more than 86,000 people in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

“The true magic of discount retailing is simplicity,” said Sinanudin Omerhodzic, CTO at Aldi Einkauf. “We therefore always use technology where it specifically makes us better and faster. With Aldi Shop & Go, we have developed a concept that brings together the discount idea and computer vision technology, always with the aim of making shopping as easy as possible.”

Trigo has recently partnered with Tesco in the UK, Rewe and Netto in Germany, and Wakefern Food cooperative in the USA.

Smart checkout technology is expected to process nearly $400bn in transactions by 2025, according to Juniper Research. According to Trigo’s analysis of Kantar supermarket data, there are around 500,000 convenience and small format grocery stores worldwide that have the potential to be retrofitted with AI-based frictionless technology. Around 120,000 of them are in the EU. The technology for scaling to larger store formats is maturing in parallel.

Trigo’s computer vision system can identify and price promotional and discounted items, including fresh produce, weighted items, self-serve coffee, baked goods and freshly squeezed juices.

Trigo is a computer vision start-up reshaping the retail experience. Leveraging AI and algorithmics experts, the company’s retail automation platform identifies shopping items to create a seamless checkout process. The GDPR-compliant technology is built with a privacy-by-design architecture that anonymises a shopper’s movement and product choice data. No biometric or facial recognition data are gathered or analysed.

Powered by its proprietary 3D engine, it offers grocery retailers a range of additional options called StoreOS, including predictive inventory management, pricing optimisation, security and fraud prevention, planogram compliance, and event-driven marketing. This layer enables actionable insight that can boost the chain’s efficiency.