Supermarkets are essential for our local shopping streets. They provide traffic. The supermarket customer also buys from the specialty stores in the street. With the loss of local ‘brick-and-mortar’ sales, first online food and non-food sales, but now also by quick commerce companies like Gorillas and Getir, supermarkets and later the other stores will not survive. Is there anything that we can do about it?
The business model of the quick commerce companies is based on convenience and speed. A few clicks on the app, and the groceries are at your door within 10 or 15 minutes. The earnings model is also based on low costs of ‘dark stores,’ warehouse workers, and delivery staff. A local retailer who already has a ‘store’ with inventory and is close to the consumer also has these advantages.
The consumer is always right, of course. They want fast home delivery and convenience with a simple ordering and payment platform. Local delivery networks in the Netherlands (like Fietskoeriers, TringTring, Peddler, and Hurby) can also deliver fast. They can collect from local entrepreneurs and deliver to the consumer’s neighborhood the same day by appointment.
The Amsterdam-based Local Heroes offers an e-commerce platform that allows consumers to easily order the joint offerings of market entrepreneurs and shopkeepers in the neighborhood and via the app. The consumer can choose to pick up at a nearby pick-up-point or delivery at home at the end of the day. After a successful trial at the Amsterdam Ten Kate market, Local Heroes is rolling out nationwide. Successful because it brings in extra turnover for market entrepreneurs and shopkeepers.
Here is a mission for local entrepreneurs, trade organizations, street managers, municipalities, and start-ups to work together and take on the big quick commerce platforms. Focus on bundling local supply, creating an easy-to-use ordering and payment platform, and making agreements with delivery networks for fast delivery. This is much more than just offering a ‘digital street platform’ showrooming local stores…
The home delivery trend is irreversible. But, to prevent it from becoming truly quiet on our local streets, local entrepreneurs and residents must work together to ensure that their street is an attractive meeting place where it is nice to live, work, do business, buy, exercise, and relax. Winning over quick commerce? It’s still entirely possible.
Walther Ploos van Amstel.