Aldi traffic light system: What is it and how does it work?

Aldi is introducing a raft of new shopping rules to manage queues outside its UK stores. The new measures include a new automated traffic light system due to help control the number of customers coming in and out of the shop. But how exactly will the system work?

What is Aldi’s new traffic light system?

From today, supermarket retailer Aldi will be rolling out a new traffic light system to all stores across the UK.

The traffic light system signals to shoppers when they can enter stores based on individual store customer limits.

The measure is intended to assist in keeping the two-metre social distancing rules and protect shoppers, staff members and their families.

The traffic light system will run in conjunction with the current social distancing measures that have already been in place at Aldi stores.


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How does Aldi’s traffic light system work?

The traffic light system is being rolled out after a successful trial in 10 UK stores.

The system works in tandem with Aldi’s outdoor queuing initiative.

A red and green light is set up outside at the front of the queue by the entrance of the shop.

The light will remain red until a customer is permitted to enter the store when it turns green.

The light only turns green when there is enough space inside for them to enter safely.

Aldi’s automatic doors are linked to the system and will only open when the lights are green.

The green light times are calculated based on each store’s size and the social distancing requirements.

What other measures are in place?

Priority access for NHS workers remains in place.

Staff members are asked by the retailer to go straight to the front of the queue to enter the branches first.

The other protective measures include using protective screens at checkouts and distance markets on shop markets.

Sanitisation stations have also been installed to help customers as well as implementing clear signage with advice on how to shop safely.

Customers are also being encouraged to use one trolley each where possible.

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Richard Thornton, communications director at Aldi said: “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 announcement from Aldi was made a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced all non-essential shops will be open from June 15.

Retail will begin to reopen from June 1 when outdoor markets and car showrooms will reopen, after which non-essential retail operators where social distancing can be maintained will be able to reopen from June 15.

Shops permitted to reopen will need to consider several measures to maintain customer and staff safety.

This includes:

  • Putting a poster in the window to demonstrate awareness of the guidance
  • Keeping returned items for 72 hours before putting them back out on the shop floor
  • Placing protective coverings on large items touched by the public such as beds or sofas
  • Undertaking frequent cleaning objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including self-checkouts, trolleys, coffee machines and betting terminals.

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