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How Storage Solutions Company McMurray Stern is Fueling ‘Dark Stores’



To face the new challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brought forth, companies now had to find new ways to appeal to customers in a way that was both safe and accessible. Every aspect of daily life had to change, including the ways in which consumers shopped.

No longer could they simply walk into a store at any time and purchase the items they needed: shortages, curfews, limited store hours and maximum occupancy numbers all posed new problems for consumers. Many began to rely on delivery services and other online shopping; thus guiding companies to focus their efforts on creating or improving their E-Commerce options.

One concept that E-Commerce retailers turned to was that of a Dark Store, which has been fuelled by automated storage provider McMurray Stern.

The concept of a ‘Dark Store-’ a plain-looking, often repurposed building, originally began in Europe and Japan. Yet, they have become an increasingly popular way to improve online shopping in the U.S. as well. In fact, by 2023, E-Commerce revenue is expected to hit 6.5 trillion dollars.

These centers, which often focus on retail or grocery items, contain all the items that would be available in that particular store, except customers aren’t allowed inside. They place an order online, and the products are sorted and arranged, ready for when the delivery driver arrives and picks it up. Some warehouses are completely automated- robots completely fulfilling the orders- and some are run by both automated machines and people.

It’s easy to see why Dark Stores have become so popular, considering they have a vast amount of products to choose from, increase efficiency and delivery times and if it’s food- even help keep it fresh by proper rotation and refrigeration. Additionally, these stores are allowed to be open 24/7, allowing for non-stop order fulfillment.

McMurray Stern has been at the forefront for building these automated machines that have improved many consumers’ shopping needs. The company creates both static and automated solutions, all of which improve storage space, increase efficiency and decrease room for error.

The company has been hired to create products for the U.S. Military, libraries, museums, business offices, health care companies and agriculture.  Many turn to McMurray Stern for their storage solutions for good reason. Not only does the company provide completely customizable and high-quality equipment, but they do so at a reasonable price as well.

Now, as Dark Stores become increasingly popular, they need McMurray Stern’s reputable products more than ever.

“Out of every crisis there comes a new opportunity and changes in consumer behavior forever; in our industry consumers become accustomed to e-commerce and grocery delivery sending the restaurant / grocery delivery model into the stratosphere,” says CEO of McMurray Stern, Kenny DeAngelis. He continues, “We provide the solutions and infrastructure to turn those once pie in the sky dreams into reality.”

One of the more progressive products of McMurray’s that Dark Stores are utilizing is their Haipick Robot, which is known for its impressive stability and precision. Instead of forcing workers to lift and transport extremely heavy items and complete repetitive and time-consuming work, the Haipick takes over. It’s designed not only for the typical retail and grocery Dark Stories, but is also used in various other industries, such as electronics. Additionally, the machine increases storage density by 80-130%, labor efficiency by 3-4 times and allows for the smooth collaboration between machine and human worker.

The Haipick is utilized in Dark Stores not only for its efficiency, but also for its smart navigation system with obstacle avoidance and autonomous charging.

This newest product is certainly not the last impressive product McMurray Stern will produce; the company plans to develop further storage products, especially automated ones, in the future.  “We have aggressive growth plans for the coming years.  The demand is robust and the industry is growing quickly and we want to ride this wave as much as we can,” DeAngelis asserts.

For more information on McMurray Stern, check out their website here.

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