“To face the new challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brought forth, companies now had to find new ways to appeal to customers in a way that was both safe and accessible. Every aspect of daily life had to change, including the ways in which consumers shopped.
No longer could they simply walk into a store at any time and purchase the items they needed: shortages, curfews, limited store hours and maximum occupancy numbers all posed new problems for consumers. Many began to rely on delivery services and other online shopping; thus guiding companies to focus their efforts on creating or improving their E-Commerce options.
One concept that E-Commerce retailers turned to was that of a Dark Store, which has been fuelled by automated storage provider McMurray Stern.
The concept of a ‘Dark Store-’ a plain-looking, often repurposed building, originally began in Europe and Japan. Yet, they have become an increasingly popular way to improve online shopping in the U.S. as well. In fact, by 2023, E-Commerce revenue is expected to hit 6.5 trillion dollars.
These centers, which often focus on retail or grocery items, contain all the items that would be available in that particular store, except customers aren’t allowed inside. They place an order online, and the products are sorted and arranged, ready for when the delivery driver arrives and picks it up. Some warehouses are completely automated- robots completely fulfilling the orders- and some are run by both automated machines and people.
It’s easy to see why Dark Stores have become so popular, considering they have a vast amount of products to choose from, increase efficiency and delivery times and if it’s food- even help keep it fresh by proper rotation and refrigeration. Additionally, these stores are allowed to be open 24/7, allowing for non-stop order fulfillment.
McMurray Stern has been at the forefront for building these automated machines that have improved many consumers’ shopping needs. The company creates both static and automated solutions, all of which improve storage space, increase efficiency and decrease room for error.”