13/07/21; The Australian Business Review
Supermarket giant Woolworths is opening a new e-commerce-only “dark” supermarket in Sydney’s southern suburbs where customers can drop in and pick up groceries.
The format will likely be rolled out across other suburbs as retailers switch focus to customers staying more in the suburbs even when office workers return to their desks.
Woolworths has lodged plans for a the new online customer fulfilment centre in Caringbah with a major developer to build the facility at a former Toyota site.
The project is the next step in Woolworths’ e-commerce network development, which includes existing facilities in Mascot, Brookvale and Lidcombe, and an automated site for Auburn.
The development application for the 7200sq m Caringbah centre will see it sit in Aliro Group’s 2229 estate on Endeavour Road.
If approved, the centre would offer customers spanning from Kurnell to Engadine access to more than 15,000 extra home delivery and direct-to-boot pick-up windows each week.
The plans come as Woolworths reported e-commerce sales growth of 92 per cent from July to December 2020. With e-commerce sales now accounting for about 8 per cent of the retailer‘s total sales.
Woolworths director of e-commerce Annette Karantoni said the retailer was always looking to make it easier to shop.
“We’re seeing more and more of our customers turn to the ease and convenience of online grocery delivery in the Shire,” she said.
“We’re also planning to open a new customer fulfilment centre in Caringbah to offer more delivery windows,” she added.