Russia's X5 Retail Group is seeking to capitalise on heightened demand for online grocery services, with the rollout of its Perekrestok.ru service to a third region.
The retailer has announced the launch of the service in Nizhny Novgorod, following its previous introduction to the Moscow metropolitan area and St Petersburg.
To meet the demand for online orders in Nizhny Novgorod, Perekrestok.ru has opened its fifth dark store.
The facility is located in a former Karusel hypermarket, has a total floor space of 12,000 square metres and can store 30,000 SKUs. It opened on a pilot basis in late May, nearly a month ahead of schedule.
The dark store is operated by 100 employees, using 15 delivery trucks and handling some 200 orders per day.
In time, it will be able to process up to 4,000 orders per day, and will employ 800 workers operating a fleet of 150 trucks.
The launch of this new facility will increase the total capacity of Perekrestok.ru by 30%.
Surge In Online Orders
In late March, the number of online delivery requests in Nizhny Novgorod grew by 30 times, according to the Yandex Wordstat keyword statistic service.
In other regions where Perekrestok.ru operates, the company saw online orders exceed 16,000 on busy days during March, with the average ticket price rising to RUB 6,000 (about €78), and the number of items included in each order hitting 80, nearly double the previous average.
Responding To Demand
Commenting on the expansion, Igor Shekhterman, X5 Retail Group CEO said, "The decision to expand Perekrestok.ru to Nizhny Novgorod was made in response to the growing popularity of online purchases in the region.
“In its initial stage, delivery will only be available in Nizhny Novgorod, but later we plan to roll it out to satellite towns and other localities throughout the region."
Orders made online can be delivered or collected with the minimum order set at RUB 500 for self-pickup and RUB 1,000 for delivery. For orders over RUB 1,500, the delivery is free.
It's not the only technology that X5 Retail Group is putting investment behind – earlier this year it announced the rollout of self-checkout technology, which was developed in-house, across selected Pyaterochka proximity stores.
The retailer is aiming to have some 12,000 units installed by the end of this year.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Elizabeth Schroeder. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine