Rapid grocery dark stores forecasted to hit 1,500 by 2030

The UK is set to have 1,500 grocery dark stores by 2030, according to The Grocer.

According to exclusive research by Interact Analysts, more than 6,000 dark stores worldwide and expects the number to reach 45,000 globally by 2030.

Despite the sector’s rapid growth, delivery companies are also facing resistance as Rotterdam and Amsterdam introduced a one-year “freeze” on the development of new dark stores due to cycling congestion.

There are approximately 200 dark stores in operation by Q commerce players such as Getir, Gorillas, Gopuff, Zapp and Jiffy. All of which are quickly expanding to new areas, where they will be able to deliver grocery items to customers in as little as 10 minutes.

Earlier this month, the Turkish grocery delivery firm Getir announced it was creating 4,000 new jobs as it doubles its size in the UK this year.

“Having opened 120 stores in 2021, our aim is to more than double in size this year,” Getir’s regional general manager for Europe Turancan Salur told The Sun.

At the start of the year, the ultrafast grocery company pledged to invest £100 million and create 6,000 jobs in the UK.

READ MORE: As Covid restrictions see life return to ‘normal’ what now for Deliveroo, Gorillas and Zapp?

Gorillas is said to have around 20 UK dark stores, including three located within Tesco superstores.

Zapp has more than two dozen, Gopuff 35 and Jiffy has 14 dark stores operating in London.

The news comes as  New York Bodega’s are attempting to use zoning laws to defend against dark stores, arguing that dark stores are a type of warehouse and therefore cannot be built on residential land.

“Whilst investor sentiment isn’t a great proxy for the long-term sustainability and growth of an industry, the rapid delivery industry is highly reliant on capital for customer acquisition and network expansion, particularly as few companies have reached profitability,” Interact Analysis senior analyst Rueben Scriven said.

“As a result, we may see a period of slower growth in western countries between 2023 and 2025 unless investors continue to provide additional capital to these loss-making companies.

“However, in markets where online grocery is less developed, we expect rapid delivery companies to continue attracting investment.”

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