One day we’ll have mini-warehouses all over town

Published on 20/05/20

En quelques années, le délai de livraison est passé de 48h à moins d’une heure. De plus en plus indissociable d’une expérience client pleinement satisfaisante, ce temps entre la commande et sa prise de possession fait l’objet d’une bataille acharnée entre distributeurs et plateformes logistiques. Jusqu’à réduire ce temps à zéro ? Presque…

More warehouses = shorter deliver times?

Drones, robots, driverless cars… we have regularly echoed this here, there is no shortage of technological innovation in the home delivery sector. But if even recently, the subject boiled down to “starting from very far away to get to the customer as quickly as possible,” now there is another way to address the problem. Put simply: “why not start from closer?” Rather than having a few large warehouses spread out, the idea is to have smaller warehouses, and to locate them close to customers. But don’t think that this approach is just a simple real estate operation…

Mini-delivery centres across town.

LAVKA in Moscow, DELIVERR, FABRIC and BOND in the US… stakeholders – often from the tech sector – are increasingly engaged in such initiatives. BOND, for example, has 6 distribution centres in New York, each of which are just 50m2. These micro-fulfilment depots, equipped with the necessary technical and software infrastructure and located in strategic locations, ensure availability and responsiveness to the most frequently ordered products and help shorten delivery times. And the customers? Both small and large e-retailers and brands find a turnkey solution here to compete with the web giants. A device that allows online buyers to schedule deliveries accurately in 3-hour windows, to contact the vendor and, in some cases, even manage returns. So what if tomorrow some shops dedicated part of their space to this type of project?

The city centre store: a new delivery platform?

This is what’s happening in the US, where shops are increasingly transforming some of their commercial premises into a “dark store”, storage spaces dedicated to deliveries.

A partial transformation that increasingly reflects how the “functional” exerts pressure on the “operational”. The problem: if the delivery wait time is less than queuing time in-store, will the shop not be completely deserted?  It may mean the end of certain jobs, and the social contact, in towns which are already losing their local businesses.

The Main Think:

On the delivery side, if coverage and “zero emissions” are important, it is delivery times that remain the top priority. To improve it and reduce times, start-ups and tech giants are bringing it to the heart of our major cities.