Former senior executive at Gorillas Technologies GmbH
- Dark store penetration prospects for q-commerce (quick commerce) players by major regions and location dynamics
- Inventory turnover and SKU management vs micro-fulfilment and warehouse models
- Competitive landscape and dark store roll-out by key players such as Glovo (ETR: DHER), Getir and Gopuff
- CAPEX per store and profitability potential
How do you define a dark store in the context of the European q-commerce [quick commerce] and on-demand delivery market?
How is a dark store different from a micro-fulfilment centre or warehouses that marketplaces are beginning to use?
How many SKUs are typically housed within one dark store? Can you outline a dark store’s size, given it only holds a certain number of SKUs?
How much of the 1,000-2,000 SKU range comes from fresh food such as vegetables vs more FMCG-related products vs personal care? How are dark stores determining the SKU mix that can ensure a short inventory turnover period?
How well-penetrated are dark stores in the key European markets, so Italy, Spain, Germany and France? How have certain players approached this model? Is it consistent across all players in different markets or are there any nuances?
How are players such as Getir, Gopuff, Glovo and Gorillas approaching the dark store model differently from each other and what are their penetration rates?
A key point you mentioned is how players are targeting certain geographies to determine the number of dark stores they’re supposed to have. In a large city such as London, the under-10-minute proposition means that a lot of dark stores are necessary. How does a player determine the number of dark stores for one serviceable area, and how does it define a serviceable consumer base or area?
You said a player needs at least 500-1,000 orders per day to justify having a dark store. Considering the number of existing players, is 500-1,000 currently too high and can players hit this number per dark store?
Are the dark stores mainly in commercial or residential properties? How are players evaluating and sourcing ideal locations to offer the value proposition?
How do dark stores receive the products from suppliers? How is the order made from the dark store to the supplier? What does that supply chain look like?
Once a customer places an order, can you outline the process by which the order reaches the dark store and is then executed? What is that supply chain?
Where are the major bottlenecks within the dark store supply chain that are restricting the overall timing? The 10-minute proposition requires a high amount of efficiency and automation, so how well-automated is the process?
What is staffing like within a dark store? What are the peak hours where you typically need the most staff, and are they flexible, so part-time, or are they full-time employees?
How do you assess players’ inventory management software and forecasting software or abilities? Can they do accurate forecasting or is there a lot of mismatch in the market?
How are players dealing with wastage? Is there a benchmark maximum wastage amount per week or month that is acceptable, and how do you assess players’ abilities to minimise wastage in the current environment?
Can you outline the quality control process that’s being established across the supply chain and value chain? How are players ensuring there is a degree of quality control and assurance?
Are players purchasing the land for a dark store or is it leased out? What are a dark store’s initial set-up costs?
Can you outline the OPEX associated with running a dark store, such as labour, electricity and utilities?
Your comments suggest this is an efficient model with a great runway, but what are the core difficulties or issues around operating a dark store model, especially given the density required?
Which major markets are the most challenging for the dark store model to succeed in, and in which markets is it more viable?
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