Aldi Fans Are Arguing Over This Controversial Line Sign

There's lots for shoppers to love about Aldi. From their great deals on fresh produce and pantry items, to their special finds and seasonal items, the store has something for just about everyone. And the brand isn't just successful for its low prices — it's also known for an efficient, no-frills approach to grocery shopping. Customers bring their own bags, return their own carts, and usually enjoy a speedy checkout experience, which is perhaps why one Aldi customer recently expressed some confusion after spotting a sign at their local store that didn't quite match with the quick, streamlined experience they've come to expect from the brand. 

The sign politely informed shoppers that there were multiple checkout lines, and asked, "Please do not form one line." Aldi shopper u/Calypso268 posted a picture of a sign to Reddit while declaring their love for the single line structure, while wondering, "Isn't a single line more efficient?" It turns out, they are correct. According to Lavi Industries, one single, longer queue does tend to be faster and more efficient overall than multiple, shorter checkout lines at stores. As they note, simply having all customers stand in one line reduces average wait times for all shoppers and cuts down on line-switching and jockeying, which can make checkout lines less efficient and people more grumpy. This setup even provides additional benefits such as reducing customer's stress levels by eliminating the need to choose the "quickest" line and increasing the perception of fairness for all, as well as preventing preferential treatment from some cashiers.

Single line checkouts tend to take up a lot of space however

However, while single lines might be more efficient overall, there is one important way in which they are less efficient: space. One long, snaking queue takes up more floor space than several, broken-up lines, which is often why many smaller stores may not choose to use them, according to Qminder. In addition, single lines can also feel less efficient to customers, since they can be perceived to take much longer than multiple lines, even if that is not necessarily true.

Other Reddit users chimed in on the thread with their explanations as to why this particular Aldi simply might not have the capacity to utilize a single check-out line. "Serpentine queuing is so much more efficient, but requires more floor space," explained one user, echoing the Qminder article. "The store really has to have the infrastructure to support it. Stores like TJ Maxx/Marshalls, Ross Dress for Less have it built in. The Aldi stores in my area definitely do not have the room for it," agreed another shopper. So, although Aldi fans certainly seem to have strong opinions on which line option they prefer when shopping, it seems that each location has to select the type of setup that best fits their particular store.