Woolworths Opens First Store For Online Shoppers
A new warehouse-style store that is aimed at dramatically improving online shopping fulfilment has been opened by Woolworths in the Sydney suburb of Mascot.
The new store comes complete with a layout resembling traditional stores, it has been optimised to make life easier for staff who pack orders.
It has been described as mimicking similar ‘dark’ stores or ‘shadow warehouses’ set up by retailers overseas including Tesco in the UK.
Traditionally, Woolworths used its existing store network to fulfil online orders this resulted in store staff having to navigate stores filled with customers.
Now, Woolworths is using their dedicated online shopping store to eliminate problems at bricks and mortar stores.
This will improve order fulfilment and deliver efficiencies, according to a report in Fairfax Media. Similar stores are planned for Brisbane and Melbourne.
These store can be easily expanded to allow up to 80 pickers to pack goods for online shoppers.
Woolworths is already the most-visited site for groceries and liquor with 4 million visitors a month. The retailer has built a billion-dollar plus online shopping business, with the new Mascot store set to be used for deliveries covering 25% of Sydney.
Woolworths GM of Multi-Channel Retail, Kate Langford, told Fairfax Media that the new store helps it to “get orders to customers faster” while delivering “more flexibility” in having orders picked up “throughout the day”.
Ms Langford said that it is still “too early… to share business case results” but definitely sees the “value and efficiency in the model”.
The report said that the warehouse is able to keep larger stocks of popular online shopping items, such as nappies, toilet paper, washing powder, pet food and other items than traditional stores.
While “online penetration rates in categories such as apparel and consumer electronics are as high as 9 or 10pc”, a Woolworths spokesperson said there are no expansions planned into making a greater range of consumer electronics available to online shoppers.
The Woolworths online store already sells the same range of technology products in regular retail stores, including keyboards, mice, USB sticks, blank media and more.