How start-ups are investing in express delivery of home shopping in French cities

By Cécile Prudhomme

Posted today at 03:49, updated at 14:38

Striped in white and yellow, a mocking advertising billboard, on the sidewalk of his store in central Paris, in mid-August, Charles d’Harambure, the general manager in France of Flink, a company from Germany that promises food shopping “Delivered in ten minutes”. The display announces the arrival ” next “, in the district, of Yango Deli, with a slogan: “Your shopping in fifteen minutes flat. “ ” I do not know who it is. I don’t even know which country they come from ”, exclaims this former marketing director of the food delivery company Foodora. A few days later, on August 24, the Russian Internet giant Yandex announced, in a press release, the opening in Paris of this service, which it has been developing in Russia since 2019..

It is an unprecedented effervescence in a market dominated until now by the historical giants of the food distribution. In less than six months, more than twenty start-ups have launched themselves in France to ensure ultra-fast delivery of food shopping to homes from micro-warehouses. They come from Germany, Turkey, Russia, United Kingdom… They are generally made by hand in their country of origin, and now have France as their new playground. They are called Gorillas, Flink, Getir , Dija… and aim to conquer large urban centers and their population of young workers accustomed to buying on the Internet and with their smartphone.

Outside the Flink store, rue Réaumur, in Paris, September 8, 2021. An application allows you to order the delivery of products to your home.

Some, like Gorillas and Dija, have even just integrated the Too Good To Go application to fight against food waste. All these players hope to speed up the distribution networks, thanks to unprecedented delivery schedules (seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to midnight, for the most part), for barely a few euros. “With the rise of home meal orders, new habits have been taken. The market is now ripe for this type of distance shopping ”, believes Pierre Guionin, Managing Director of Gorillas in France.

All the more mature as the Covid-19 pandemic has shifted the last reluctance. “E-commerce remains the most dynamic food circuit in 2021 and now goes beyond proximity”, according to the Nielsen firm, with 9% of sales, against 8.4% for the proximity circuit, according to data as of June 13. Observers have already found a name for this new sector: “quick commerce”. Almost none of these new everyday “Uber” comes from food distribution, but all have strong experience in penetrating markets by new technologies.

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