Covid-19: Aldi introduces traffic light technology in UK stores

Aldi is introducing a traffic light system to control the number of shoppers entering and leaving its UK stores during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, following a successful trial. Coming into effect from this week, the automated technology will inform customers of when they can enter stores based on individual customer limits that are in line with two-metre social distancing rules.

The investment in this technology signals that the supermarket chain is planning to continue implementing social distancing in its stores for the foreseeable future.

Aldi said that priority access for NHS and blue light workers will be maintained despite this change, and that it is still encouraging these individuals to go to the front of the queue.

Richard Thornton, communications director at Aldi, commented: “The protection and safety of our customers and employees is our top priority and this new system is an accurate and effective way to allow us to control customer numbers in stores.

“The system’s trial was well received by our customers and we will be gradually rolling this new social distancing measure out nationwide from this week.”

The new system will run concurrently with other safety measures Aldi has already introduced in its stores during the crisis. These include protective screens at checkouts, distancing markers on shop floors, sanitisation stations for customers. It is also encouraging one customer per trolley wherever possible.

The initiative is amongst a range of technological changes that retailers have put in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection in physical stores. These include the use of scan & go mobile technology, allowing customers to pay for items via their smartphones, thereby limiting interactions with other people.

These kinds of ideas may be looked at by non-essential retailers in the UK, which were given the green light to re-open from the 15 June by Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday.