Note — Jun 07, 2020

On the Rise of Dark Stores and ‘Multifunctional Retail’

I’m always there for some hybrid skill sets, spaces, and business models. Short piece at Courier magazine on some of the promising hybrid models retail stores and restaurants have been forced to discover during lockdown, and how they are preparing to move further in those directions instead of moving back. Since delivery is a big part of it, there’s definitely a gig / zero-hour work aspect I dislike, its bad news, and will have to be considered, but those companies diversifying their offering is definitely interesting and likely more resilient.

And this time it won’t be a neighbourhood restaurant. ‘We’re hoping to find a multifunctional warehouse space, where we can prepare food, bottle cocktails and process deliveries, but also hold events and have a beautiful shop.’ […]

The Covid-19 lockdown has accelerated this trend by effectively turning many consumer-facing venues into dark stores. […]

‘Whatever happens, this has forced brands to be more agile,’ says Victoria. ‘They will be thinking even harder about their physical spaces, and what they’re for, and I think we’ll be seeing more and more nicely designed hybrid spaces.