Meet the boss of Europe’s largest super-fast grocery service
Last year, GoPuff acquired two small UK start-ups, Dija and Fancy before launching in Britain, and in November Getir acquired Weezy. Gorillas, for its part, recently entered into exclusive talks to buy Frenchman Frichti.
“It’s super easy to say ‘Okay, we have to grow at all costs’ and you make a lot of mistakes,” says Sümer. He says that several start-ups, in rushing to grow, have chosen the wrong places for warehouses, thus causing conflicts with local communities.
More deals are likely if the current chill in public tech markets translates to private valuations, but Sümer says he’s confident the company will be a predator rather than a prey. “The winners will start to consolidate the market because they will be the ones who will take the money, and at the moment we are the European leader,” he says.
Quick grocery apps also had to consider whether they could be profitable. In the UK, Gorillas charges a delivery fee of £1.80, although unlike catering apps like Deliveroo and UberEats, it sells groceries directly, allowing it to make profit margins.
Sümer claims that the company has profitable warehouses in all countries and that 30% of its business is in breakeven. He also points to market data suggesting that the average order on his app is three times that of some competitors. In other words, its urban users are buying something closer to a weekly store than an emergency lawyer.
He is also confident that the model can work outside of built-up cities, despite the app’s initial focus on urban Londoners. Gorillas has conducted trials in suburbs and small towns, and says he’s found success, especially among those for whom an off-licence isn’t just around the corner, though it’s doubtful that rural locations will one day be an option.
There are signs that the end of lockdowns is leading to a drop in online grocery shopping in Britain. Aldi recently halted deliveries through Deliveroo, and industry data showed internet sales fell 3.7% year-on-year in December.