Symbols expand grocery home delivery partnerships to combat threat of ‘dark sites’ and apps

Based in warehouses, or ‘dark sites’, these companies promise home delivery in an average time of 10 minutes

Dark store dark site dark supermarket grocery home delivery service hub

Symbol groups are expanding their partnerships with home delivery companies to help their stores combat the growing threat of rapid delivery startups.

Companies such as Getir and Gorillas have been described as the latest competition for independent retailers.

Based in warehouses, or ‘dark sites’, these companies promise home delivery in an average time of 10 minutes.

Gorillas recently announced it would focus on the UK market, following a restructure that led to 300 redundancies.

However, this threat has not been ignored by symbol groups. Parfetts, which operates the Go Local symbol group, has partnered up with Just Eat, adding to an existing relationship with Snappy Shopper.

The wholesaler’s retail director, Steve Moore, said: “Parfetts is always looking for new partners. Recently, we teamed up with Just Eat to enable Go Local retail club members to grow their businesses with last-mile delivery.

“The move extended the range of services our customers can access, with existing agreements in place with Snappy Shopper.

“It’s early days, but we’ve already had around 50 stores sign up to Just Eat, and I’m confident that will grow over the coming weeks.

“We must continue to give our retailers a commercial edge.”

One Stop has also partnered with Uber Eats, bolstering its current relationships with Deliveroo and Just Eat. The chain’s head of online, Tim Josephs, said it plans to expand its partnership with Uber Eats to 500 sites. He told Better Retailing: “These partnerships can help retailers compete against rapid delivery companies.

“Convenience stores are like dark sites themselves. Rapid delivery companies are focused on cities, and their direction of travel seems to be moving into smaller towns.

“I see it almost as an opportunity rather than a threat because they’ll make us sharpen what we already do. Retailers have an advantage already. They have experience and knowledge of what customers already want and they just need to replicate that online.”

Commenting on store sales since the partnership with Uber Eats, Josephs added that the average basket spend doubles for online purchases compared with in store. “Daytime is more grocery-based, whereas the evening sees a spike in demand for alcohol and confectionery for customers who are socialising,” he said. “Outside of that, bread, milk, pizzas and sandwiches are all popular as well.”

United Wholesale Scotland has also launched its own home delivery platform called Yuu.

The service enables customers near participating Day-Today symbol stores to order products either for home delivery or click & collect.

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