The most recent signal of this: Complete Meals, owned by Amazon (AMZN), opened a brand new retailer final week in Brooklyn, New York, in a former warehouse house. It has no prospects and is a so-called darkish retailer, which is extra warehouse than retailer. It permits Complete Meals employees inside to inventory and decide objects off cabinets, after which Amazon drivers will ship them to prospects within the Brooklyn space.
Darkish shops have been a burgeoning development before the pandemic. Walmart (WMT), Cease & Store, Hy-Vee and others have been all testing out comparable ideas to ship groceries.

Retail analysts say grocers have been beginning to experiment with darkish shops for 2 principal causes.

Darkish shops are smaller than giant, centralized warehouses and could be situated nearer to the place prospects reside. That is vital as a result of it permits corporations to ship perishable meals to prospects extra shortly than delivering from warehouses on the outskirts of cities. It additionally helps grocers reduce down on transport prices.

Retailer and supply app employees shopping aisles and selecting prospects’ on-line orders in conventional shops was additionally resulting in complaints from buyers about clogged aisles and jammed shops. Transferring the selecting course of out of normal places helps chains remedy this drawback.

A surge in on-line grocery procuring amid the pandemic has prompted extra grocers to show to this mannequin.

On-line grocery gross sales tripled in Amazon’s newest quarter from the identical interval final 12 months.

Whole Foods workers stock and pick items off shelves in the store and then Amazon drivers deliver them to customers in the Brooklyn area.
“Grocery supply continues to be one of many fastest-growing companies at Amazon,” the corporate stated in a blog post final week.

Complete Meals beforehand closed down six shops through the pandemic and transitioned them into online-only shops, centered solely on deliveries. Of these six, 4 have gone again to regular shops, Complete Meals stated. The situation in Brooklyn is Complete Meals’ first everlasting online-only retailer.

Kroger (KR) and Large Eagle have additionally switched shops to pickup and delivery-only places through the pandemic.

The pandemic has “delivered to gentle the worth of the darkish retailer,” stated Diana Sheehan, vp at advertising and marketing analysis agency Incontext Options. “I count on to see extra of this across the nation.”

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