The “Dark Side” of Retail: The Reality of Dark Stores

There’s a new trend in the retail world, called “dark stores” . 

Why did Forbes describe them as “the Future of Retail”?

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what dark stores are and why it is called the future of retail.

 

What are Dark Stores?

Dark stores are retail locations that have been closed to the public but are still used for storage, distribution, or other purposes.

Also referred to as fulfilment centres, they are mini-warehouses, leased by big box retailers or e-commerce companies. It’s a “Dark store” because it’s hidden away from shoppers; you can’t just go in and pick up the items you need.

One can place an order online and collect it at a  “Dark store”, if the option is made available!

 

What Makes Dark Stores Different?

Unlike the supermarkets you go for grocery shopping, dark stores do not have flamboyant buildings, ambient lighting or assorted shelves with price tags.

Instead of checking out from customer assistants in supermarkets, you can collect your orders from customer delivery assistants (CDAs) in dark stores.

 

Why are Dark Stores Wide-Spread Now?

During the COVID-19, when people avoided moving around for shopping, dark stores seemed like the most convenient option.

Buy Online-Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) became the new shopping replacement. Even Forbes announced dark stores as the future of post-pandemic retail.

Located in a prime area, these fulfilment centres help save time and offer a more pleasant shopping experience.

Additional benefits of dark stores include:

  • Increased Efficiency
  • 24/7 Operation
  • Flexibility for customers
  • Order accuracy
  • Combination of human and robot workers

Even though there are some controversies around, Dark Stores could pave the way for the future of retail as the advantages stand out.

 

The Future of Post-Pandemic Retail

With COVID-19 still existing and people concerned, dark stores ease all transitions of social distancing, protecting customers. 

Reduced cycle time of order and delivery makes the shopping all the more easy. Dark stores therefore improve customer experience and satisfaction, providing easy access to everyday items. 

The chances are high that people would choose this convenience over in-person shopping, making dark stores the future of post-pandemic retail.

 

To know more, get in touch with us today.

 

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