Crazy bar codes. Crazy fast.

November 17, 2020


Lloyd tells me that his family shopped at Aldi when he was a kid. What he remembers about it was that it was super no-frills. They had one kind of everything, and no displays – they just plonked the pallets of stuff on the floor and you were on your own. Low selection, low staff, crazy cheap.

That’s right up my alley.

A while back, we got a couple of Aldi stores in Lincoln, and I got super-hooked. Yep, just one kind of everything, and a fantastically weird aisle of temporary oddities that they swap out each week – it’s where I got my pop-up tents. I love it.

It’s experiencing a wave of popularity now, though, that I fear will be its undoing. Aldi stuff is trendy now. It’s still super-cheap, but they are catering to the cool kids now – with charcuterie boards and homey knickknacks, and we know that’s not my place.

Anyway, this post is about their amazing bar codes. An Aldi store is little, and they only have a few employees at a time, and usually only two checkers. When they check you out, it is lightning fast! Beep beep beep – here’s your whole cart for $40. The secret to their speed?

Bar codes. Bar codes all over the boxes so no matter what side is down as it is swiped, there’s a bar code there. Sometimes, the bar code is even stretched all over the product, which I find simply delightful.

I hope this shows up. Note the giant, stretched-out bar code.

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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5 Responses to “Crazy bar codes. Crazy fast.”

  1. Gretchen Said on:

    I love Aldi! I shop there weekly but never noticed the super-sized barcodes.The cashiers are super fast -- my PIN entry is usually the rate limiting step of the checkout process.
    I also appreciate the minimal choices. No comparison and analysis of 15 different orange juices. Aldi employees are amazing too!


  2. Deborah Said on:

    I also went to Aldi as a kid. They have always been fast checkers, but back then, they had to key in the prices so they had all the prices memorized.


  3. Mom Said on:

    I had never paid attention to the new bar codes. We have a remodeled store. Super lot of room and now I get my exercise getting around it. Thing is with covid I do not go as much. Shop nearest store and get out of Dodge.


  4. Brad Said on:

    That is really interesting. I haven’t seen such a thing before. I am kind of loyal to name brands for certain grocery items. I don’t know if Aldi would be my place for food. I do like the weird stuff though. It’s one of the things I like about Ross and TJMaxx.


  5. Kristi Said on:

    Those bar codes are cool! Somebody was thinking about efficiency!


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