Parisians may never have to step foot inside a grocery store again. Why would you when you can get your weekly grocery haul delivered straight to your door in 15 minutes?
CNBC reports that Uber is the latest to enter into Europe’s deluge of grocery delivery start-ups, partnering with French supermarket chain Carrefour to launch Carrefour Sprint. So how are they making sure things run speedily? Instead of picking up items from active grocery stores, the service will rely on nine dark stores stocked with items from French grocery brand Cajoo. Essentially, it will follow the GoPuff model of packing and sending from a warehouse instead of individual stores as Instacart does. (For those of us in the U.S. who are sticking with Instacart, don’t forget these tips.)
As the pandemic continues, the new race seems to be who can provide the best (and fastest) home food delivery service, so much so that the industry is quickly getting saturated. In Paris alone, Carrefour Sprint is going up against start-ups who are trying to make their own mark in the grocery delivery game, not to mention multiple billion-dollar companies that promise delivery within 10 minutes. Sounds dangerous. At this point the next company will be bringing you your groceries before you’ve even made a shopping list just to be on top.
While the pure amount of money being thrown at these companies makes them seem like they’ll be around for a while (as of a May CNBC report, venture-backed grocery delivery firms raised more than $1.5 billion in Europe alone), there are of course some skeptics. Brick and mortar grocery stores will still offer a very different and more customized experience for shoppers than these ghost markets. The in-person experience also allows for a more discerning eye when picking up things like fresh produce. And we can only assume that eventually people will want to actually leave their houses, right?