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Orange ALDI has installed self-checkout, so now you can go as slow as you'd like

October 8, 2023

ALDI Orange. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

By Peter Holmes

More than two years after ALDI trialled self-checkout at some of its supermarkets, the staff-cutting change has been implemented at the Orange store.

Two lanes of three self-checkout registers have replaced what were two human-manned checkouts at the end of a long conveyor belt.

One staff member said the changes were made about a week ago.

Now, one staffer watches over the self-checkout area, thus allowing a staff reduction of one on the checkouts.

When The Orange News Examiner visited on Sunday afternoon to check the checkouts, ALDI was in the middle of its usual end-of-weekend madness, the store brimming with customers pushing trolleys brimming with groceries, meat and veg, and the other random bits and pieces ALDI is famous for selling on an ad hoc first-come-first-served basis in the middle aisles.

ALDI self-checkouts in Darlinghurst. Supplied.
In June 2021 ALDI said: "Since self-serve checkouts entered the Australian grocery sector, we've been watching with keen interest the value and efficiencies they drive for business as well as the convenience they provide customers."

The self-checkouts allow people to scan goods at their own pace rather than be subjected to the anxiety-including speed that ALDI checkout folks are known for.

Unlike Orange's IGAs Coles, Woolworths and Spar Express, ALDI doesn't pack your shopping.

Instead, the products are often scanned at breakneck speed, and then the shopper piles them into a trolley and pays before heading to a long bench at the front of the store to pack the shopping.

The savings can be impressive, but there is no such thing as a free lunch, and the price paid is the sometimes absurd intensity of the experience.

ALDI is a mindset, and you need to be sharp to survive.

The ALDI website appears to have no mention of self-checkouts. This is in line with its general approach of keeping some things on the down-low. For example, you can't ring the local ALDI to ask a question.

It's all part of the cost-saving measures. This is how you get a bag of pikelets for less than $2.

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