OmniStore Turns Grocery Stores into Small Fulfillment Centers

OmniStore Turns Grocery Stores into Small Fulfillment Centers to provide true grocery omnichannel

OmniStore Turns Grocery Stores into Small Fulfillment Centers

“OmniStore uses existing stores and transforms them into small local fulfillment centers. Part of the store is used for picking and the rest of the store can focus on fresh and regional produce which is attractive to the customer " explains Chad Zollman, CSO of TGW Systems.

Intralogistics specialist TGW and the shop-fitting professionals from 'umdasch The Store Makers' have developed an innovative store and logistics concept for food retailing called OmniStore, an omni-channel model that integrates logistics processes. OmniStore combines the strengths of traditional retail with the benefits of e-commerce, but it does so at local grocery stores. At a trade forum organized by CASH trade magazine in Fuschl, Austria (24 to 26 April 2019), OmniStore was introduced to a large specialist audience for the first time where it was met with great approval.

The supply chain in food retailing has consistently been optimized over decades to provide best possible service at lowest possible costs. This was feasible as long as companies were able to fulfill changing consumer needs with store models that did not fundamentally impact the material flow. However, due to the rapid growth of online commerce, this approach is now increasingly reaching its limits. Selling food via the Internet follows other rules than traditional distribution, thereby placing new and different demands on supply chains.

The best of both worlds

Families and younger customer groups in particular are increasingly buying food online either from at home or on the go via their smartphones. For example, in Germany the increasing market acceptance of the food segment in 2017 brought online retailers sales of 1.13 billion euros, which is an increase of 21.3 percent over the previous year (2016: 932 million). These statistics were published by the German Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel e.V. (German E-Commerce and Mail Order Association). Many retailers are therefore investing massively in online and delivery services. However, order picking for each individual customer and “last mile delivery” are expensive and therefore difficult to realize profitably. One thing is certain, though: traditional retail is not about to disappear. Customers continue to place value on their local shopping experiences. They want to see the fresh food they’re about to buy, smell it, and be able to ask for customer service. Compared to pure online retailers, traditional retailers can set themselves apart through promptness, flexibility, and convenience. So what will tomorrow's grocery stores look like? TGW and umdasch offer an answer: with OmniStore.

Increase picking efficiency

Customers have the opportunity to do their daily shopping in a grocery store as usual, choose products at the digital order terminal, they can get help from a sales person or enjoy a cup of coffee in the integrated restaurant. Of course, they can also conveniently place orders for goods online at home and then pick up their purchases around the clock at so-called pick-up points at a grocery store of their choice. From the simple picking-up of online orders to quick impromptu purchases inside the store, many different customer journeys can be covered. OmniStore provides retailers with increased picking efficiency up to a factor of four.

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