“Dark stores” are the future of retail. This new online-store only concept has been on the rise since the beginning of COVID-19 as more retailers are shifting their physical locations from in-store to local fulfillment centers for online shopping. They are preparing to convert these locations into warehouse-like distribution centers which means a new store layout plan that is set up to drive efficiency and quick order fulfillment.
What Are Dark Stores?
The recent pandemic brought new and unique challenges to retailers. Their brick-and-mortar locations quickly became online order fulfillment centers while stores were closed to in-person shopping. A customer could buy a product online and pick up that item the same day through curbside pick-up at their local retail location.
While restrictions are easing up across the country and more stores are reopening, the success of the dark store is not going anywhere. Retailers will have to offer multiple fulfillment channels to keep up with their customers growing demand for convenience. For a dark store to operate successfully, it will be important for retailers to have the right equipment and systems in place to move products and freight throughout the store.
How Freight Lift Equipment Can Help?
Retailers know to maximize use of existing space, they will have to invest in the right equipment such as storage systems, mezzanines, lift equipment and conveyors. Autoquip has been providing lift equipment to retail and distribution centers for decades to help manage their “backroom” inventory. One of our top solutions is freight lifts to help companies manage the transport of products to an elevated mezzanine level or storage area. Now with the expansion of dark stores, the benefits of utilizing a freight lift will become even greater as “backroom” inventory now becomes an entire store.
Benefits of Freight Lifts for Dark Store Retailers:
- Most efficient and safe means to transfer high-capacity freight between mezzanine levels, balconies, or vertical storage systems.
- Provide multi-level access up and down between two or more fixed levels.
- Easy to install in any facility’s preexisting floor plan.
- Easily integrate into other automated systems such as a conveyor.
- Highly dependable equipment with minimal maintenance requirements and with a long life cycle.
- Customized for the application for size, capacity, speed.
- Autoquip offers AQ Connect, smart control system for freight lifts to monitor lift operations and safety performance.
If you’re looking to implement or expand a dark store fulfillment strategy, we can help you decide the right solution to maximize your inventory. Contact us today.