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Gorillas grocery delivery service arrives in Brussels

18:44 17/06/2021

The Gorillas grocery delivery service has begun operating in Brussels and Antwerp. Via an app, users can order groceries from the company, which it promises to deliver in mere minutes.

The German company started up just last year, cashing in on the skyrocketing demand for groceries to be delivered during the pandemic. Besides Germany, it operates in France, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK – and now Belgium.

Gorillas is operating in Belgium’s two largest cities – but not just anywhere. In Brussels, it has limited itself to Ixelles, Uccle and Etterbeek, for the time being. In Antwerp, it services much of the city centre as well as the Zurenborg and Zuid neighbourhoods.

The company says it has 2,000 products on hand, which it stocks in its own warehouse. The prices are competitive with local supermarkets, and the delivery charge is just €1.80.

Immediate delivery

Another grocery delivery service with its own stock (dubbed ‘dark stores’) that plans to start operating in Brussels is Frichti. The French company announced that it would set up shop in the capital by the end of June.

According to Nazim Salur, CEO of Getir, a similar app-based service that operates in London, they have an advantage over supermarkets because customers can get their orders within minutes. Supermarkets generally ask customers to pick a time slot, and it’s not necessarily on the same day. “Scheduled service is Blackberry,” Salur recently told the Financial Times. “We’re the iPhone.”

Like other delivery services such as Deliveroo and TakeAway, locally hired couriers deliver the food to customers’ doors. Gorillas provides them with an electric bicycle. Unlike restaurant food delivery apps, the product is centralised, so it promises customers will have their order within 10 minutes.

The CSC union warns, however, that services such as Gorillas are only welcome if they follow local labour regulations. While this is the case for Dutch firm TakeAway, for instance, legislation is pending against Uber Eats and Deliveroo for breach of labour laws.

Workers’ rights

“New technologies are welcome, and we see that there is a demand for them, certainly for food delivery,” Martin Willems of CSC told Bruzz. “But the platforms must respect workers’ rights. That is possible when you look at a company like TakeAway.”

CSC would like to see these services offer contracts to drivers under conditions related to delivery and logistics, which would mean gross pay of €13 per hour. None of them currently do. While Uber East and Deliveroo consider their drivers to be self-employed, TakeAway uses another labour category, which, according to Willems, means drivers earn €10.50 gross per hour.

It is unclear where Gorillas falls in this system, though couriers in other countries say they earn an hourly wage of about €11.50.

Photo courtesy Gorillas

Written by Lisa Bradshaw