We all know the problem in the supermarket. The line at the checkout is endless again, even though the cashiers can scan the goods faster than Lucky Luke can shoot, let alone shoppers can pack bags. While the cashier and the shopper behind them are already shuffling their feet impatiently, you are still busy gathering together the remaining tomatoes and milk cartons. Of course, it’s incredibly hectic, after all, you’re holding up the entire checkout process.

At Aldi Süd they wanted to counteract exactly such scenes; so-called double checkouts were introduced a few months ago. These have the supposed advantage of being equipped with two goods shafts and two terminals for card payments. This means that cashiers no longer have to wait for one customer to put away their purchases, but can directly serve a second customer. The discounter wants to kill two birds with one stone: on the one hand, the processes should be accelerated and on the other hand, the stress should be taken away from customers. The innovation has already been introduced in many branches – to the annoyance of some of the discounter’s employees. Because, as “Spiegel” reports, they can’t see much positive from the supposed win-win situation.

A downside to faster processing: Aldi employees inevitably have to work faster and short breaks are no longer possible. According to the report, employees are already complaining about physical ailments such as back or shoulder pain caused by the cash register change. Dancing constantly at two parties at the same time also means that a higher level of concentration is required. An employee tells “Spiegel” that mistakes are inevitable. Although the new checkout system makes customer contact virtually impossible, it requires employees to keep an eye on two customers at once. However, since they always have to turn their backs to one customer in order to serve the other customer, this is not so easy.

A display should help employees keep an eye on what the customer is doing behind their back. This works especially if no unforeseen “problems” arise, for example a debit was not possible and the invoice remains unpaid. A corresponding warning tone often only sounds when customers have already left the branch. The result: cashiers literally have to chase the money. Often unsuccessful. Aldi wants to gradually eradicate such teething problems by readjusting the technology during ongoing operations.