U.S. retailers looking to use stores for online order fulfillment could have a new role model from across the pond. Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury in the U.K. have been using "dark stores" to fill up to 4,000 online orders a day.
These are stores not open to the public, but set up exactly like those that are. Order pickers then have the run of the place, fulfilling orders to be shipped and avoiding getting in the way of shoppers and associates in active settings. While online grocery shopping isn't popular in the U.S. yet, omnichannel retailers could consider such hybrid fulfillment centers down the road. Story