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Dark Store – The first automation project in Ukraine

Kyiv, 2021

Our client is one of the largest food retailers in Ukraine. In 2020, he introduced a new offer for express home delivery of groceries. This service quickly gained popularity, so that in the summer of 2021 it was offered in 48 cities across Ukraine.

Our client’s company is scaling fast and constantly expanding its network of micro fulfillment centers. Now it has started to develop a new retail format for Ukraine – the Dark Store. From the outside, it looks like an ordinary supermarket with the usual arrangement of goods on the shelves. However, the store is closed to customers and the employees inside the store are only there to pick and pack the online orders. Then the order is delivered to the customer. The waiting time is 40 minutes: 20 minutes for picking the products and 20 minutes for delivery. Currently, the company is actively working to optimize the process and reduce the time of picking. In order to achieve the desired results, the client commissioned KAPELOU to optimize the process of picking online orders at one of its stores in Kyiv.

The main tasks of the project were:

  • аutomation of the transport of goods from the unloading area to the picking area;
  • reduction of the workload for the employees;
  • acceleration of the work processes in the dark store.
Project implementation period:
Business sector:
E-commerce, Retail, FMCG

We took into account all the factors that are important in the dark store when implementing the project: In particular, the intensity of work (24/7) and the number of SKUs (1,500). In the project we used a standard product line from our own production KAPELOU® and installed the following conveyor system for it:

Our experts carefully analyzed the Dark Store’s operational process and developed an optimal solution to optimize the work in the warehouse – from receiving the order to handing it over to the courier. In the goods selection area, we installed a conveyor belt between the shelves, which transports the containers with the selected goods to the picking area. This is where sorting and picking takes place. This is made possible by a clever combination of roller conveyors and switches that move the boxes in the right direction.

Automation by KAPELOU has significantly accelerated the sorting and picking of online orders. Picking capacity has increased from 400 to 1,000 orders per day. Thanks to the clever concept and the optimal positioning of the conveyors, access to all goods shelves is free. And to optimize employee work, each employee works only in his or her assigned area.