As e-commerce sales soar, Macy's is testing a concept designed to meet rising demand as efficiently as possible: the dark store. Dark stores are closed to in-store shoppers. They function instead primarily as fulfillment centers for online orders. Macy's is converting two stores into dark stores, one in Delaware and the other in Colorado. Neither of the stores are very high-performing, so Macy's won't lose too much by forgoing in-store sales. Closing the stores to shoppers will allow the department store retailer to organize and staff for the purpose of fulfilling online orders, rather than having the stores perform two functions as Macy's has in the past.
Macy's says that this is to meet the surge in e-commerce demand it has experienced lately. (Digital sales jumped 53% year over year last quarter.)