Rising costs weigh on all economic players, but all the more so on those who are not profitable: express shopping delivery, or “quick trade“, after a dazzling start, sees a few clouds gathering above his head.

These companies that promise the delivery of everyday consumer goods in about ten minutes, especially in urban areas, were until then used to announcing fundraising and record valuation levels. But at the end of May, the German Gorillas announced the elimination of 300 administrative posts, the Turkish Getir some 14% of its workforce, or just under 4,500 people. And the American GoPuff also reduced the sails, according to several media. The decision was nottaken lightly“, assures the general manager in France of Gorillas, Pierre Guionin, to AFP. “But it was a necessary step“, for the company so that it is stronger and more profitable in the long term“.

Launch of own brands

The target public of this new commercial offer, inhabitants of large international cities, is a priori less sensitive to purchasing power problems than the average consumer, and “the market continues to grow», with ever more attracted customers, according to Pierre Guionin. However, customers are more attentive» at prices than before and the +discount+ category, for example, is in high demand“, he observes, however. And Gorillas has just launched in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom its own distributor brands on around fifty products, generally identified as more accessible than the big brands (Danone, Coca-Cola for example ).

But the reason for the reductions in staff is above all to be found in the financing of this activity of “quick trade», very costly in terms of time, logistics and personnel, while the public is accustomed to the low delivery costs charged by e-tailers like Amazon. “Investors no longer want to support companies that want to grow at all costs”, explains to AFP Clément Genelot, specialist in the distribution sector at Bryan, Garnier & Co.. Quick-traders are downsizing or withdrawing from certain countries because they know it will be harder to raise moneyhe says.

Paul Lé, who co-founded the online food trade site La Belle Vie, says he has experienced such “difficulties in the past». Investors instead target markets that have better prospects for profitability»he points out. The activity needs a fairly high average basket» to generate a larger margin, he says. His company, La Belle vie, which offers same-day delivery, relies on an average basket of 80 euros compared to around twenty for quick-traders.

“Dark store” with shop windows

Another possibility to gain in profitability, to lean on other more profitable activities, for example a delivery the next day or the day after with a large shopping basket. The quick-commerce option would then become an additional service, allowing for example to order products forgotten in the order in 48 hours»he observes. The fact remains that quick-commerce is facing increasingly marked opposition from certain large cities, even from a part of the political class, which denounces pell-mell, the arrival of warehouse cities, the nuisances for local residents. , even “lazy economy“.

In New York, there are talks of banning dark stores from residential neighborhoods to avoid blind storefronts facing the street“, explains Blake Droesch, analyst in the United States for Insider Intelligence. GoPuff, a dominant player in the American economic capital, is considering opening its dark stores to the public, but then what would be the difference with a convenience store that does delivery, wonders the specialist. For his part, Clément Genelot says to himself, however, “quite optimistic about the development of dark stores“. “They will develop a little slower than expected but the demand is still there“.

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