Gorillas on-demand shopping app fires half of its office staff

Grocery shopping app Gorillas, which promises to deliver goods within 10 minutes, is firing half of its office staff. In a press release, the company said it would let go of about 300 employees out of a “global office worker” of 600. (This workforce also includes about 14,400 employees who work in the warehouse and as delivery drivers.)

The company also plans to sharpen its focus on five markets that account for 90 percent of its sales: the UK, US, Germany, France and the Netherlands. The company is also active in four other European markets – Spain, Denmark, Italy and Belgium – where it says it is “looking at all possible strategic options for the Gorillas brand”. That may mean withdrawing from these markets, but Gorillas says: The edge nothing has been decided yet.

The news suggests problems for the burgeoning “instant” supermarket. In recent years, a large number of these services originated all over Europe, fueled by venture capital investment and pandemic lockdown orders. These companies all rely on the same basic infrastructure: warehouses full of groceries scattered across urban centers and armies of e-bike and scooter-riding delivery drivers to deliver the goods.

Many experts have warned that these services are essentially unsustainable, as their growth is based on discounted prices subscribed by venture capital funds in the hopes of capturing what remains of the market once a few dominant players emerge. A report by The information last August suggested that an up and coming player, JOKR, lost as much as $159 on every order he delivered in the US.

Some countries have also objected to the impact these companies have on urban infrastructure. In the Netherlands, for example, there are supermarket apps such as Flink, Getir and Gorillas forced to limit the speed of delivery people’s e-bikes and keeping their warehouses out of built-up areas – both measures in response to complaints from city residents.

Combined with the global downturn affecting the tech sector in general, it seems that some delivery apps that have struggled to grow are in trouble. sieved reports that the company struggled to raise more money and that in May this year the Gorillas app was downloaded only 320,000 times, compared to 1.5 million downloads for Turkish rival Getir.

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