Following the expansion that began in Valencia last year, Mercadona launches the new online shopping service after the establishment of an exclusive online shopping warehouse in Barcelona in the Zona Franca industrial park. From this logistics centre, called the "Hive", the company begins service in the districts of Sarrià-Sant Gervasi and Les Corts, specifically for postcodes 08017, 08021, 08022, and 08034 and will progressively expand the service to the rest of the neighbourhoods in the city of Barcelona in coming weeks and months.
Customers residing in postcode areas not covered by the "Hive" may continue to make purchases through the classic website. Depending on the evolution of the project, the company will expand the service to other postcode areas in Barcelona and, possibly to new municipalities in the coming years. Currently, the online project is focused on servicing the city of Barcelona with the development of a new warehouse located in the Zona Franca industrial park.
The aim of the new online shopping system is not only based on improving the website and app, but it also includes significant structural changes enabling process optimization. By moving order preparation and delivery to the "Hive", as opposed to managing individual purchases from the stores, productivity and efficiency are increased up to eight times, guaranteeing the best service to the "Boss" - which is the customer, as referred to internally by the company.
This new model maintains the same rate (€ 7.21 / order) and extends delivery hours from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday to Saturday in 1-hour windows the day after the order was placed. Product selection is very similar to that of the stores. Products are located using categories or the search engine of the new platform with images of each product and all relevant information.
The team that will lay the foundations for the new online shopping in the "Hive" of Barcelona initially consists of 92 employees from the majority of physical stores in Barcelona. It is estimated that this workforce will increase to 350 employees in the coming months, as the expansion process advances. The teams dedicated to IT development, design, products, logistics, and customer service will remain at the headquarters in Valencia from where they will also provide service to the Barcelona online project.
Juana Roig, general director of the Mercadona online shopping project, highlighted that "after the success in Valencia of Mercadona's online shopping during its first year, today we come to Barcelona with the assurance that this service has enormous potential. We anticipate that the launch in this great city will be a significant milestone in the Company's firm commitment to address the challenge of online grocery shopping."
More freshness and efficiency: Exclusive warehouse and vehicles adapted to transport fresh and frozen products at 3 temperatures
This new online 10,500 m2 logistics centre involved an investment of 7 million euros. It has 2,500 m2 dedicated to fresh products and includes a cold storage area for refrigerated and frozen products requiring temperatures below -20ºC. Fresh products are received and prepared the same day of delivery to the customer, to ensure maximum quality and freshness. Additionally, elements that significantly reduce energy consumption, such as solar panels and special insulation for the cold storage area, have been included in the new logistics centre. Also, the level of loading platforms has been reduced so that delivery vehicles used in the city centre, which are smaller than regular delivery vehicles, can be easily loaded to facilitate delivery to "the last mile".
For this purpose, we have a fleet of 50 vehicles of three different models that enable transport of five, nine, and fifteen orders per trip, depending on the size, adapted to areas difficult to access. These delivery vehicles are designed with 3 differentiated temperature zones so that fresh and frozen products arrive at the online customer's residence maintaining the cold chain. Additionally, it incorporates a mechanized unloading system that minimizes load handling, thus reducing overexertion for workers as well as reduction of unloading time. Likewise, the entire fleet of vehicles runs on natural gas, in keeping with the company's commitment to the environment.
In relation to the following project objectives, Mercadona anticipates the launch of the new online shopping system in Madrid at the beginning of 2020. In the next few years, in line with a solid commitment to the online project, it will continue to expand to other major cities in Spain.
Exterior of online shopping warehouse (named "The Hive") located in Barcelona.
Interior of online shopping warehouse located in Barcelona.
Online shopping warehouse employee in Barcelona.
Baker in the online shopping warehouse of Barcelona.
Delivery using natural gas vehicles and mechanized unloading in Barcelona.
Solar panels on online shopping warehouse roof located in Barcelona.