DUBAI, United Arab Emirates —Q-Commmerce is the newest disruption in retailing. Dark store is one of the most evolved models of Q-Commmerce, witnessing quick growth in the last two years in the Middle East. However, dark stores being a relatively new format of business, face many challenges off guard. Sometimes they struggle with identifying a unique value proposition. This immediately creates problems in brand positioning. Sometimes they get their building interiors wrong. A faulty layout plan is a big impediment to achieving quicker order fulfillment timelines. The organizational structuring, team formation strategies, processes and competencies required in dark stores are significantly different from any conventional eCommerce entity. Yet another critical area of work in dark stores is operational planning. The keyword across dark store operations is speed. Without cutting-edge process orientation, speed is simply not sustainable. Last but not least is IT integration, where dark store businesses must integrate with the best-fit IT solutions to efficiently and effectively run a dark store or a network of dark stores.
Even with the forecasts pointing towards continued rise of dark stores in the Middle East, there is a dearth of specialists for guiding emerging and existing supermarket & hypermarket businesses in the region through the challenges they would encounter in this space. Pioneering to fill this void is a ten-year-old Retail and eCommerce consultancy brand – Your Retail Coach (YRC). The consultancy firm has ventured into dark store business consulting services for the Middle East market since last 03 years, serving all the major dark store brands in the MENA Region. We asked Nikhil Agarwal, COO of YRC, about the road ahead. He eloquently replied that, “Retail and eCommerce are the two sides of dark stores; & we have experience and expertise in both.”
YRC’s service highlights include Business Strategy, Business mod Model, Organizational Structuring, SOP Designing and Training, IT System Integration, and Layout Planning. These services are aimed at startups and existing enterprises seeking to adopt the dark store business model in the region. Pointing specifically at ideal businesses to pick up the dark store model, Dr. Rupal Agarwal, CSO at YRC, shared, “Dark Stores are a natural extension of existing supermarket brands as they can leverage a lot of what is required to be quickly on the top of the game.”