Definition of dark store in US English:

dark store

noun

British
  • A large retail facility that resembles a conventional supermarket or other store but is not open to the public, housing goods used to fulfill orders placed online.

    ‘opposition councillors claimed that shopping needs in the area would be better served by a dark store than a superstore’
    • ‘The high-class supermarket announced on Friday that it would open a second "dark store" in London to meet growing demand.’
    • ‘With online grocery sales set to reach £14.6bn in 2018, a number of retailers have opened dark stores to fulfil consumer demand.’
    • ‘Home delivery dark stores generally require a very large yard to accommodate the delivery van fleet, and also a large number of van loading positions.’
    • ‘The opening of its first dark store in 2011, a 37,000 sq ft unit in Acton, north London, marked a significant shift for the retailer.’
    • ‘Supermarkets are expanding dark stores as online shopping increases among consumers.’
    • ‘Around 1.8 million square feet of warehouse space is devoted to dark stores, but that is set to increase as online shopping transforms the retail sector.’
    • ‘Dark stores are warehouses full of goods that are picked and delivered by staff according to online orders.’
    • ‘Dark stores - supermarkets that contain only store employees picking the items customers have ordered online for them to collect - are becoming increasingly popular.’
    • ‘The company said the dark store would support the development of its "rapidly-growing" online business, which reached annualised sales of GBP1bn in September.’
    • ‘The market leader has four dark stores ringing London, with another three in prospect.’