With a growing need for convenience and delivery, Sainsbury’s has re-launched its ‘Chop Chop’ on-demand bicycle delivery service out of a closed and ‘dark’ convenience store in Blackfriars central London. Currently, many such stores are closed as focus shifts to stocking and supplying primary outlets. This too has been the case for Sainsbury’s. If successful however, this pilot may result in the opening of more ‘dark’ convenience stores across the UK to be utilized as swift delivery hubs.
The impact of social distancing is causing disruption to the point where stores are sometimes no longer stores. Retailers are finding new ways to use locations and customers are seeking safer shopping alternatives. As customers look for frictionless shopping and distance in what has now become a stressful activity, Amazon looks to commoditize its ‘Just Walk Out’ technology across brick and mortar retailers. These opportunities are not only offering convenience, but safety as well, and it may turn out they become the catalyst to a future of not only ‘dark’ stores, but faceless ones too.
Contributed By: Michael Krog, Planner, Integer London
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