Secret fix to ‘bad’ Aldi problem
WHEN a woman shared her frustration at the speedy Aldi checkout systems online, she had no idea someone would reveal a secret solution - one news.com.au can reveal is true.
Writing in the Aldi Mums Facebook group the woman said she had a "bad checkout experience" at the supermarket as a result of the fast checkout system.
"I had a trolley load of goods, the guy started scanning on my first item, buy (sic) the time 1/8 of the trolley had been scanned I thought, 'Stuff it I am not going to get help and I am sure as hell not going to hurt myself,'" she wrote, adding she has "severe health problems" that made the experience all the more stressful.
"Long story short my entire trolley contents were next to him piled up. I then proceeded to pack the bags there and then. I cannot put in trolley to move out of the way then unpack to repack. Oh then he asked for my card as soon as he was finished, so it took even longer."
RELATED: Mum's genius Aldi checkout hack
She ended her post by asking why the store insists on the speedy process - which is standard across all Aldi stores globally - explaining it causes her "anxiety".
Her post clearly resonated with others who admitted her experience was all too familiar, describing it as "Aldi anxiety - but one helpful comment in particular stood out.
"You can actually request they slow down and they have to do it," the person said.
This handy titbit was something we'd never come across here at news.com.au - so we went direct to Aldi to confirm if the rumour was true.
CUSTOMERS CAN 'KINDLY REQUEST' ALDI CASHIERS SLOW DOWN
In a statement an Aldi spokeswoman confirmed shoppers can ask for cashiers to slow down if they're going too fast, adding it was "never our intention to cause customers stress at the checkout".
"Our employees will review and adjust their scan speed based on how quickly or slowly each customer packs their shopping. If any customer would like an Aldi employee to slow down at the checkout, we encourage them to kindly request this," the spokeswoman said.
"Our stores are designed to ensure customers can do their weekly shop in an efficient and convenient way.
"One way we can do this is by asking customers to place their groceries back in their trolley once they have been scanned, and then pack at their own pace at the long bench behind the tills."
WHY ARE ALDI CHECKOUTS SO FAST?
In 2017, Aldi said its check-outs were 40 per cent quicker than supermarket rivals, but reports at the time said the pace came at a cost for the staff trying to keep up.
"(For checkout operators), you have to scan a minimum of 1000 items an hour," a former Australian manager told news.com.au.
"This is why we scan lightning fast. If you underperform they give you a written warning. Get written up for the same things three times in a month and you get fired."
However Aldi strongly defined the man's claims, saying there were "no official targets" for staff.
Staff are also able to scan items quicker because each Aldi product has multiple or enlarged barcodes.
This makes it easier for the scanner to pick up what is being moved through to the bagging area.
WHY ARE ALDI CHECKOUTS SO SMALL?
According to UK documentary Inside Aldi: Britain's Biggest Budget Supermarket, Aldi's check-outs have a small till area - and no benchspace to bag groceries - on purpose.
The smaller space means that customers are forced to put items back into their trolleys quickly, hastening their departure from the checkout.
Most Aldi products also have multiple barcodes on them, allowing staff to scan them more quickly.
'THE DIRTY LOOKS I GOT'
It's not the first time someone has complained about Aldi's checkout system. Last year a woman vented in the same Facebook group about how the store needed express lanes.
The mum recounted how during one recent $400 grocery shop she had been shot filthy glances by "impatient" people.
"The dirty looks I got when I filled up the conveyor belt at Aldi by other impatient customers, who thought it was the end of the world that someone was doing a big shop, was phenomenal," the mother-of-three wrote in the Aldi Mums Facebook group.
After detailing her ordeal, she ended her post by calling on the media to bring attention to Aldi's need to introduce express lanes for the "grumps who basically want to shiv you like a prison line for smokes in commissary because they want to get ahead".
The Facebook post soon attracted plenty of comments, with many mums saying they had experienced similar problems when doing big shops at Aldi.
"I shop for 3+ pets and the looks I get when I unload my trolley on the conveyor belt are vicious!" one wrote.
"I once had a lady slam a divider down on the belt and put her few items up. I had only unloaded half my trolley. Took great delight in pushing her sh*t out of the way so I could keep unloading."
In response, an Aldi Australia spokeswoman told news.com.au that while they "constantly review" processes they had no plans to introduce express check-outs.
"Shopping at ALDI is a unique experience, but one that we are proud of," a statement read. "We constantly review our processes and are open to receiving customer feedback to ensure we continue to deliver exceptional value and great service to our customers.
"Our check-outs are known for efficiency and speed and we have found that the current checkout format meets the needs of our shoppers."
TIPS FOR SUPERMARKET ANXIETY
Australian Psychological Society president and clinical psychologist Ros Knight told news.com.au that anyone who found supermarket shopping stressful should look at ways to mitigate any stressors.
"A support person can help, but equally preparation is what you really need - both preparation to manage the scenario and preparation to manage your anxiety response," she said.
"So making sure you've written a proper list, making sure you're going at a time of day where it's not crazy busy like 5pm on an afternoon."