Our country currently has 123 branches of so-called flash deliverers. These branches are located in 38 different municipalities, which amounts to about 10 percent of all municipalities in the Netherlands. This is apparent from research by real estate advisor Colliers. The two largest flash deliverers, Flink and Gorillas, want to expand significantly in the coming period.
Given the attention that is being paid to the phenomenon of speed cameras, you would almost think that they can be found everywhere. But they are – unsurprisingly – mainly in cities, and then mainly in the Randstad and especially Amsterdam.
With 34 so-called hubs, more than a quarter of all branches, also popularly known as dark stores, are located in the capital. The German Flink in particular is making considerable progress in the Netherlands. “They have 63 hubs in 38 cities,” the researchers said. The German Gorillas follows with 29 branches in fourteen cities, the Turkish Getir is present in eleven cities with 25 branches.
Then there is the British Zapp, which operates with six hubs in two cities. That company delivers day and night throughout the week, the others deliver seven days a week between 8:00 am and midnight.
After Amsterdam, Rotterdam (eleven) and The Hague (eight) have the most dark stores, according to the Colliers report. Utrecht and Eindhoven each have six. “The places with the most hubs are mostly cities with a lot of young residents, such as university towns.” Groningen and Tilburg each have five.
The flash deliverers want to expand considerably in the Netherlands. “Gorillas has the ambition to at least double the number of hubs next year,” the researchers say. “Flink does not mention a specific number, but wants to expand the delivery area in cities where it is already active and also start delivering in new cities.”
Branches mainly found in shopping areas
The deliverers are now mainly located in residential shopping areas: more than a third. Just under a third is in pure shopping areas, almost a quarter in business parks and just over 10 percent in residential areas.
For expansion, they look to neighborhoods in the vicinity of where the people live. “An important requirement is that they are centrally located, with many local residents who can be reached quickly by bicycle, but preferably not in a residential street.”
They must also be easily accessible by trucks for loading and unloading. “And provide enough space for the bicycles of the deliverers.”