Woolworths opens first "online-only" store
By Alex Choros
Woolworths, Australia's largest retailer, has opened its first "online-only" store in Mascot, Sydney. Known as a "dark store", the retailer's newest outlet is almost identical to any other store; there's fruits, veggies, bread and meat, everything you'd expect. The only thing missing is the customers.
This new store will purely be used to fulfil customers' online orders, and as such, is laid out for optimal efficiency and the produce carried better reflects the shopping habits of Woolworths' online customers. According to research conducted by consulting firm AT Kearney, dedicated "dark stores" can be almost three times as efficient as a regular supermarket. Woolworths currently uses stock from its traditional stores close to customers' homes to fulfil grocery orders.
Woolworths will test the efficiency of the new Mascot store before making a decision on whether to open similar outlets in other major markets such as Brisbane and Melbourne.