Why Aldi win at the front end

& Lidl to some extent.

Whenever one visits a discount store, typically, I’m amazed at how hard working the colleagues are, they get through some work and their target times (often seen on the doors of warehouses) show that the time colleagues have to work pallets is rarely longer than 20 minutes.

But there’s always a queue Steve!

This is true.

Often in Aldi, queues can build up rapidly and a relatively calm shopping experience can turn in to scenes a la Wembley Way before an England game, with people absolutely everywhere.

It’s almost a marker of how polite your fellow customer is and how you imagine how they navigate through life, when they refuse to let you past in the queue with 6 items.

As they proceed to offload a full trolley of 126 items, laughing at you, inside.

Then you’re looking around, hoping more checkouts will open, and then, behold!

Existing operators and/or the overhead announcement system tells you to move to a spare checkout and place your shopping on the belt, all whilst a legion of blue shirted Aldi workers come charging down to open checkouts.

It’s the feeling of momentum that does it.

Because you’re stood in a queue, or approach a queue, with dread.

But then there’s movement and you’re quickly ushered to another checkout, or you see people coming forward to open checkouts.

You see activity and you’re happy. Thus your perception of queues at Aldi is that yes, there may be a wait, but they’ll open all the checkouts and work hard to serve you.

The frustration however….

Whereas there’s nothing more frustrating than standing in a queue in a larger supermarket, seeing zero movement, apart from the 10th call out for trained cashiers.

Whilst you look at the swathes of empty checkouts….

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