Woolworths is on the search for more “dark supermarkets” to service the rising e-commerce business in Australia, according to The Courier-Mail in Brisbane, Australia.
In August Woolworths opened its first dark supermarket in Australia — an Internet distribution center in Mascot, Sydney, and is now considering opening ones in Brisbane and Melbourne.
JLL industrial director Gary Hyland said the opening of the first dark supermarket was the start of a new trend which will impact on the industrial sector.
“Dark supermarkets are a sign that the way consumers consume has changed, and continue to change,” he said.
“The online grocery buying phenomenon is here, and it’s here to stay. As a result, we will see dark supermarkets take up space in industrial precincts — particularly in warehouses close to key markets.”
The typical dark supermarket looks like a normal supermarket — a large warehouse space packed with products of all types, shapes and perishability. But there are no customers.
Online orders are filled by pickers or “personal shoppers” who can work day or night shifts, and have open run of the aisles without having to navigate check-out queues.
It means order deliveries happen quickly, whether they be delivery serviced buying or the click and collect option.
Hyland said while online food and liquor buying lagged well behind apparel and consumer electronics, it was growing.
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