Shoppers say they would be ‘devastated’ to see Aldi ‘become like Tesco’ after a Kent store announced plans to replace some of its checkouts with automatic checkouts.
The Cherry Tree Avenue supermarket in Dover is set to lose some of its manned outlets as the bargain chain introduces a self-service option.
The changes will happen in the new year, and while some believe the move will speed up queues, others say it will significantly affect their shopping experience.
Gaye Glanville, a resident of Whitfield, says she will be ‘devastated’ to see Aldi go down the same path as other supermarkets, adding: ‘I usually go to Tesco and they did the same thing – it’s bugging me .
“The queues are like Christmas now when you get up there.
“I really think twice about using Tesco now because everything is self-service and there are too many people queuing for help.”
Shirley Dry, 74, who lives near the town centre, said: “I don’t ride here very often, but when I do I prefer to go see a person because I’m not very good at their self- scans.
“It’s faster when someone does it for you.
“I’ll be sad to see some crates disappear, but it’s something we have to get used to.”
Shopper Peter says the reason he uses Aldi is to talk to the friendly staff.
The 78-year-old added: “At my age, I’m not into tech.
“I’d rather talk to a person – you can’t talk to machines.
“I should think twice about coming here, but the problem is they all do now – even my bank is closed in the city.”
Valerie Luthuli of Herbert Street echoes these concerns, who feels that self-checkouts are difficult for older customers to use.
The 69-year-old said: “I like to go to the till and pay there, not self-scan, because we old people are poor at it.
“It means that every time I come there, I will need someone to help me.
“I won’t use them. If there’s someone at the checkout, I’d rather go to them.”
However, some shoppers who only buy a few items at a time say they will welcome the changes.
Father-of-four Paul Martin, from Folkestone Road, uses the store almost every day and thinks the introduction of self-scans is a “good idea”.
“The only bad thing about this store is the lines, but it’s still worth coming because you can’t beat the prices,” he said.
“Self-service checkouts, if put together, should be fine because in many other stores you wait for a member of staff.”
Malcolm Stevens, 59, agrees and says: “I think it will be a good idea because you can get stuck behind people with trolleys when you only walk in for a few items so it will go a lot faster .
Maria Savage, who lives near Christchurch Academy in Whitfield, thinks the move could be a good one, as long as only a few crates are converted.
“I personally don’t like self-service checkouts; I like being served by someone, but it’s just a matter of how they’re going to do it,” she said.
“One or two would be OK, as long as we don’t lose too many normal crates.
“I work in a store and serve on a till and people can lose their jobs if there are too many, and that’s the bad side of it.”
It’s not yet clear how many of the eight checkouts will be replaced, but Aldi says the majority of stores that have made the move still have more busy checkouts than self-service outlets.
No jobs will be lost during the move.
An Aldi spokesperson said: “Following positive feedback, we are extending our self-checkout trial to our Cherry Tree Avenue store to further improve the customer experience.
“The checkouts held by our amazing colleagues will always be available for customers who prefer to use them.”