Supermarket ‘dark stores’ dealing with online-only orders are “the future model of grocery in the UK”

UK supermarkets are increasingly converting shop floor space into areas for online order fulfilment in their largest branches as rents continue to rise.

‘Dark stores’, areas attached to supermarkets which deal specifically with online order fulfilment, are “the future model of grocery in the UK” according to Supermarket Income REIT.

Supermarket Income REIT, which owns five Tescos, three Sainsbury’s and one Morrisons, has said that it will only invest in ‘omnichannel stores’ which devote increasing space to online fulfilment in future.

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“We invest in omnichannel stores, which we believe are the future model of grocery in the UK,” its chairman Nick Hewson said.

“Omnichannel supermarkets operate both as physical supermarkets and as online fulfilment centres. We target stores which perform a critical role in the business strategies of our tenants.”

“The big four grocers continue leveraging their existing store networks to support last-mile logistics for online grocery. As a result, growth in e-commerce sales is driving value creation in these locations that is not yet fully reflected by the investment market.”

During an investor presentation, the company referred to a 20,000sq ft Tesco ‘dark store’ in West Bromwich, the first of 25 ‘urban fulfilment centres’ set to open over the next three years.

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • I am surprised that Tesco think Customer Fullfillments Centres are the way forward. Drastice reduction in range across the store from West Brom CFC. 25% of top offers not available and up to 20% across the full range. This is NOT good news for customers stuck with delivery from CFC! Come on Tesco, you can do better than this.

  • Asda Grocery Online has a serious problem with one of its delivery drivers named, Lee. This guy sadistic pleasure in delivering groceries in such a way customers struggle like hell to get them indoors. He gives no assistance. When asked how he would deliver to someone in a wheelchair, he said, they would have to find someone to help them take in the groceries. In other words, Lee would not help them one tiny bit. Many seriously disabled, elderly and infirm people buy groceries online for home delivery.


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