Magnit PJSC, one of Russia’s leading retailers, has opened two pilot warehouse stores in Moscow that only serve online orders — dark stores. Dark stores are located in the north and east of the capital and are used for express delivery within one hour. The stores process orders made via Magnit’s own delivery service, and in the near future, they will be connected to partner services — Delivery Club and Yandex.Eda. Until now, Magnit's delivery operated based on its brick-and-mortar stores. Dark stores are expected to enable the Company’s online business to achieve higher operational efficiency.
The pilot dark stores operate in a ‘mini’ format and have an area of 300 and 400m². Their assortment differs significantly from a standard offline Magnit Convenience store and includes products from the ranges of Magnit Family supermarkets and Magnit Cosmetic drogeries — around 6,000 to 7,000 articles in total. For example, the assortment of dark stores is supplemented with make-up and care cosmetics, beauty and health products, as well as a range of fresh meat, soft cheeses, and non-dairy soy drinks. The updated offer better meets the preferences of Magnit's Internet customers, who buy more products and choose more expensive options online than offline.
Dark stores also differ from Magnit Convenience stores in terms of appearance: their design is minimalistic, and they have no partitions on the sales floor to speed up order processing. A video surveillance system is used to monitor the quality of order picking. Access to the dark stores is granted only to employees who prepare the orders, as well as delivery couriers.
“These are the first two mini dark stores where we will test the operational processes and determine the optimal model for future scaling in Moscow. In 2021, we plan to open up to 20 such dark stores across the capital. We see a high level of interest from our loyal offline customers towards the online channel, as well as an influx of a new audience that has never shopped in Magnit before. To meet the needs of this category of customers, we are working on properly adapting our offering for online and constantly improving the customer experience,” said Florian Jansen, Magnit’s Deputy CEO and Executive Director.