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Retail Industry Updates

Grocery Delivery Is About to Get Real Fast in New York City

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Germany-based Gorillas provides on-demand grocery delivery service in 10 minutes or less. 

Life already moves pretty fast in New York City, so it makes sense that Gorillas is launching its grocery delivery service there on May 30.

Because we’re not talking just any grocery delivery service. Germany-based Gorillas, which is already established in Germany, the Netherlands, France and the UK, provides on-demand grocery delivery service in 10 minutes or less. Lickety-split, indeed.

Gorillas will begin its U.S. expansion with service in Bushwick, which includes parts of Williamsburg, and downtown Brooklyn, which includes the Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens neighborhoods. The company plans to expand to additional areas of New York City and other major cities.

“As a result of the pandemic, online grocery delivery has seen steep momentum, but now that this industry has experienced the long overdue propulsion into e-commerce, it will be here to stay,” said Kağan Sümer, CEO and co-founder of Gorillas. “We’re proud to not only offer consumers the convenience of such immediacy, but to do it with a purpose: In contrast to established gig economy models, we employ all riders directly, and change the way riders work with full-time and part-time opportunities as well as benefits to our delivery staff.”

Online grocery sales grew 54.0% in 2020 to reach $95.82 billion and a 12.0% share of total U.S. ecommerce sales and 7.4% of all grocery sales, according to research from eMarketer. Gorillas said it’s in a prime position to further accelerate online grocery adoption, which is expected to reach more than half of U.S. consumers by 2022.

To deliver on its value proposition of 10-minute delivery, Gorillas operates various micro warehouses in each neighborhood it serves. In addition to offering this level of convenience, Gorillas said it is committed to providing “an exceptional product experience that mirrors a trip to the supermarket,” with the in-app “aisles” organized just how they would be in physical aisles for easy browsing. Gorillas said it allows customers to purchase a wide array of standard grocery items, as well as products from hyperlocal vendors so that consumers can shop from and support their favorite local businesses. For example, New York City customers will have access to popular go-to locations such as Black Seed Bagels and OddFellows Ice Cream Co., among others.

Gorillas said it places an “utmost emphasis” on the treatment of its riders. A departure from the traditional gig economy model, Gorillas’ riders are provided full-time employment and full-time riders receive benefits that traditional employees would receive in similar industries, like healthcare, bikes, uniforms and other equipment.

“Our riders are at the heart of everything we do, and we’re firmly committed to going against the grain when it comes to the idea of people doing rigorous tasks, like biking urban streets, with limited resources,” said Sümer. “From day one, Gorillas was built on the belief that every employee should have the right gear and the right benefits to do their job safely, and that’s a belief on which we’ll never waver.”

As part of its New York City launch, Gorillas has teamed up with Rethink Food, a nonprofit organization that will collect all potential food waste from warehouses and transform it into nutritious meals for distribution via other community-based organizations.

In a little over 10 months, Gorillas said it has expanded to more than 25 cities, including Amsterdam, London and Munich, and built up more than 75 micro fulfillment centers.

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