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What is the Future of Dark Store in India?

COVID-19 in early 2020 acted as a catalyst for the faster adoption of the dark store in India. With the customers forced to stay indoors during the lockdown period, online retail purchases increased manifold. Demand had shifted online overnight for Indian consumers who used to visit their local Kirana shops to buy daily essentials, and there was also a surge of first-time online grocery shoppers.

future of dark store in india.

Why Dark Stores are growing in India?

The number of Internet users in India also crossed 825 million in March 2021, making online shopping platforms within reach of around 61% of the Indian population.

In the pandemic, the demand for instant Kirana or groceries rose and many companies pivoted to grocery deliveries like Swiggy, Zomato, and Dunzo alongside established e-grocers like Grofers, Big Basket, Amazon, Flipkart. What followed was stiff competition, resulting in the consumers being promised their e-groceries at sharp time frames of 10 to 30 minutes flat.

The digital payment landscape is evolving in India due to the penetration of mobile and pandemics with more than 40% of the population doing online transactions. All these factors, along with a paradigm shift in Indian consumer shopping behavior during the lockdown have given rise to dark stores in India.

Brokerage firm Motilal Oswal in a recent retail report has reported that the Indian e-grocery market will grow at a whopping 59 percent CAGR to touch $18 billion (about ₹131,400 crores) by the year 2024.

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What is the typical size of the dark store?

In general dark stores, space can range between 2,000 and 20,000 sq ft depending on the product type and neighborhood they are catering to.

Dark Store History in India

The first-ever dark store in India was launched by online grocer BigBasket in 2018, in an attempt to ship orders faster to its customers under its express delivery service.

Read – What is Dark Store? Everything you need to know about Dark Store.

Indian Companies who has major dark stores?

Blinkit, Bigbasket, Flipkart, Swiggy, Dunzo, Zapto, JioMart, and Amazon are seen competing with each other to provide contact-less, express deliveries of groceries and daily essentials- most of these companies are developing a huge network of dark stores.

What is the future planning of big Indian ecommerce companies ?

Grofers now Blinkit is experimenting with a 10-minute delivery model in 12 cities to be followed by the next 25 cities it services. Similarly hyperlocal delivery platform Dunzo has Dunzo Daily that delivers via its chain of dark stores and dunzo is aiming to scale operations of Dunzo daily in 20 cities by 2023. Swiggy does the same through its ‘Instamart’ in metro cities. Flipkart is planning to introduce express delivery services in over 200 cities by the end of 2022. Zepto which is currently working in 8 cities is planning to expand its network in other cities also.

looking space for dark store

How Real Estate is evolving near dark store?

The rising demand for dark stores is pushing the growth of urban logistics spaces across India. The rising demand for dark stores from eCommerce players in city central locations is prompting the growth of urban logistics spaces. While dark stores are at a very initial stage in India, urban logistics is on the cusp of going mainstream.

Across India, urban logistics spaces are expected to surpass 7 million sq ft by 2022, shows data from JLL India. The increasing trend of faster goods distribution and e-commerce penetration nationwide is expected to push the demand further.
Earlier the surge in eCommerce has led to the demand for warehouses across India and still increasing, now due to the rise in quick commerce, small space demand in city center locations will increase thereby giving owners and developers a clear opportunity to capitalize on the demand.

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