X5 launched an online store, Perekrestok.ru, in April 2017, to service the Moscow area. Now it plans to open fulfilment centres for the online store, otherwise known as ‘dark stores’.
‘Dark stores’ aid Perekrestok fulfilment stores to focus on in-store
X5’s Prekrestok.ru is currently supported by a number of Perekrestok hybrid-stores that are supermarket units combined with a warehouse. The online store services the Moscow area only and takes on around 500 orders a day. The ‘dark stores’ aim to relieve pressure from the Perekrestok hybrid stores as warehouse staff must fulfil online orders alongside in-store stocking. The ‘dark stores’ focus on online shopping only, helping them to process orders faster.
Perekrestok.ru could expand to St. Petersburg
Reports by local media that Vladimir Sorokin, General Director of Perekrestok, stated the potential opening of dark stores in Moscow and St Petersburg. Since the online operation is currently limited to the Moscow area, Mr Sorokin indicates expansion of the online store to St Petersburg.
Russian anti-competition authority put pressure on store expansion
In 2017, store expansion in St Petersburg and the surrounding area by X5 and Lenta increased competition in the area and has caught the attention of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). Mr Sorokin commented that Perekrestok is looking for additional sources of attracting customers. Potential restrictions by the FAS in opening new stores in Moscow and St. Petersburg will delay network expansion, so opening ‘dark stores’ is an alternative.