Tuesday 25 September 2012

Tesco to build national network of online-only 'dark stores'

They are not open to the public but used to assist nearby shops unable to keep up with internet orders. Tesco already has four dark stores in London but internet boss Ken Towle said on Monday that another two would open in Crawley and Erith, near Dartford, and it was scouting other cities, including Birmingham and Manchester, for locations.

Future dark stores
Towle said Tesco's would need "tens" rather than "hundreds" of dark stores. Speaking last week, Tesco chief executive, Philip Clarke, said Tesco.com "provides all the growth we have in our core food businesses these days".

Where this is heading
Besides representing a threat to Ocado, Tesco with 50% of an online grocery market that will be worth 6% of total grocery spend by 2016 (IGD), the market leader is still at an early stage in its rebalancing of online-and physical store presence that will reflect online demand, with an increasing dark store weighting that will provide a means of reducing online overheads and help to subsidise the cost of home delivery.

In other words, it will always be difficult for online grocers to break out of the '£5-per-drop' mode, so lower-cost dark stores will help by releasing more of the retail margin to help cover delivery cost losses   (See posting below)

No comments: