Russian retailer Magnit has opened two pilot 'dark stores' in Moscow, as it seeks to bolster its online presence.
The stores offer express delivery in one hour, with plans in place to connect the stores to partner services Delivery Club and Yandex.Eda.
Before the introduction of the dark stores, Magnit's delivery service operated from brick-and-mortar stores, with the new facilties purpose-built to service orders more efficiently.
They will ovffer around 6,000 to 7,000 SKUs in total, comparative to the offering from one of Magnit's standard offline convenience stores.
The group believes the 'dark store' concept suits its internet customer's needs better, as they tend to buy more products and choose more expensive options online than offline.
The layout of the dark stores features a more minimalistic design, with no partitions on the sales floor to speed up order processing. Access to the dark stores is granted only to employees who prepare the orders, as well as delivery couriers.
Florian Jansen, Magnit's deputy CEO and executive director, said that the retailer will use the new dark stores to "test the operational processes and determine the optimal model for future scaling in Moscow", as it begins to expand its operations online.
Jansen believes there is great interest in this model of stores, and the group will take time "adapting our offering for online and constantly improving the customer experience" to satisfy those demands.
The retailer recently launched its delivery app offering express delivery in Moscow, and has teamed up with Delivery Club and Yandex.Eda to provide delivery services to its customers.
Most of the chain's delivery operations are still in the pilot stage, but the group has seen strong interest and return on the service, with Magnit fulfilling approximately 7,000 orders a day by December 2020.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.