On-demand grocery delivery services are the current European startup craze. There are now dozens of companies offering to deliver bananas, birthday cakes and booze within 15 minutes in cities across the continent. Adverts for their apps are plastered across buses and billboards, and their couriers are familiar sights in city centres.
But the ‘dark stores’ which fulfil customers’ orders are a whole lot more mysterious — even though there are now hundreds across Europe, and dozens more opening every month.
Sifted visited one of Getir’s dark stores in Battersea, London to find out more about how they work.
Getir is the best-funded fast grocery startup in Europe. Since launching in Istanbul in 2015, it’s raised €840m and currently operates 54 dark stores in the UK. Its UK general manager is Turancan Salur, son of CEO Nazim Salur.
Today in the UK, Getir employs 2k staff, including 1.85k pickers and drivers. That’s a lot for a tech startup — but nothing on a traditional grocer: UK retailer Sainsbury’s, currently valued at $10bn, employs over 100k people.
This dark store — effectively a small warehouse where products are stored, packed into orders and handed to drivers — is located in a bright railway arch.