After releasing strong financial results which drew from its hefty investment in digital technology, The Warehouse Group has unveiled a tiny store which relies on omnichannel retailing to provide customers with access to the full range of products.
The Warehouse’s smallest-ever store opened on Customs St in central Auckland today. The pop-up store is cashless, measures just 30 square metres, and has no inventory on its shelves – it’s there to supply click and collect customers with their goods. Customers can select an option to collect at the store when purchasing.
Shopping can be done at the store, but they will need to do so via the store’s ‘Endless Aisles’ service. This service is an omnichannel innovation which links checkouts with The Warehouse website, allowing customers access to the full online range at any store.
The Warehouse’s chief digital officer Craig Jordan said the tiny store would offer customers added convenience, and highlighted the ease of shopping online.
“If you’re at home in the evening, but work in the city, you can shop after work, knowing you can pick up from Customs St the next day during a break from work,” he says.
Jordan says the store is an opportunity for TWG to test the concept and learn what works best for customers before considering opening similar stores at other sites convenient to large numbers of customers.
Home delivery is available for all online purchases, Jordan says, but this doesn’t suit everybody.
“Click and collect is proving very popular among our customers, as they enjoy the convenience of being able to pop into a store or pick-up point, grab their order and keep moving” he says.
On Friday, The Warehouse Group announced an adjusted net profit after tax for this financial year of $57.1 million. This is above previous indications of between $52-$56 million. Group retail sales for the year were up 4.6 percent on last year, reaching $2,770.4 million.
One of TWG’s key strategies is to be the leading digital retailer in New Zealand. This was showcased in its latest financial report, which explained that all of TWG’s retail brands are fully online. Every brand offers home delivery, click and collect and endless aisles.
Since the 2011 financial year, TWG’s online sales have grown from $18.8 million to $149.2 million in the current year.
Group CEO Mark Powell spoke of a revolution in his comment on the results.
“After a period of significant catch-up investment it was good to see strong profit leverage from continued sales growth. Also, with nearly $150 million annual online sales we are well placed to take a lead in the industry-wide digital revolution.”