OmniStore Turns Grocery Stores into Small Fulfillment Centers

by Katie Lee

Grand Rapids, Mich. — 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.

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.

Families and younger customer groups in particular are increasingly buying food online either from at home or on the go via their smartphones. 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.

With OmniStore, customers have the opportunity to do their daily shopping in a grocery store as usual, choose products at the digital order terminal, get help from a salesperson or enjoy a cup of coffee in the integrated restaurant. Or, they can conveniently place orders for goods online at home and then pick up their purchases around the clock at so-called pickup points at a grocery store of their choice.



SOURCE: TGW Logistics Group

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