'People don't want to spend two hours in stores crammed in with everybody else': Pierre Guionin on how Gorillas is shaking up home grocery delivery

·4-min read
In a Gorillas warehouse, everything needs to happen in less than 10 minutes.

Gorillas, an application that sprung up in Europe during the pandemic, is on a mission to revolutionize the home grocery delivery market by offering an ultra-fast service -- with delivery in less than 10 minutes -- in order to meet the new expectations of increasingly mobile urban consumers. ETX Studio caught up with Pierre Guionin, General Manager France at the Berlin-based company.

Can you outline the Gorillas concept?

Gorillas is a new service for home grocery delivery in less than 10 minutes, available to our customers via an application, on which our customers will find a selection of two thousand items covering all the essential products that a consumer could need on a daily basis. That goes for food or non-food items. Gorillas is a company that was founded in Berlin, last year during lockdown. Today, it is the European leader in ultra-fast delivery. We are operational in seven countries and we cover just over 20 cities. We provide a solution that's quite incredible, new and innovative for the customer, which is having groceries available within an extremely fast timeframe.

How can you achieve the logistical feat of delivery in less than 10 minutes?

Precisely, 10 minutes isn't very long in the life of a consumer. However, for Gorillas, it's quite a long time, in operational terms. It is a timescale that we now know how to use in an extremely professional way, through receiving the customer's order until the delivery of it. The concept simply relies on setting up proximity warehouses, which are stores, between 300 and 500 sq. m in size in the heart of cities, in the heart of neighborhoods, where we store our merchandise and where our team of riders is also located, who then go out within a radius of one-and-a-half to two kilometers around the warehouse to deliver the orders. So today, thanks to our operational know-how, 10 minutes is a timescale that we master very well. We often deliver in less than 10 minutes. The average is around seven minutes.

Do you plan to increase the number of products available?
Yes, this is one of our aims, but the most important thing for us is to understand the customer. We've been active for two months now and we have a fairly accurate view of the products that are popular with our customers. There is strong interest in fruit and vegetables. We have doubled this range from 50 to 100 products in order to address this need. Our logic behind increasing the selection is really based on listening to customers, as we will bring them the products they really need day to day.

It seems that certain products are sometimes on promotion and end up costing less than in stores. How do you achieve this? In the future, will we no longer have any reason to leave the house?
We're not trying to have the "right" price, we don't set out to slash prices. What we're really counting on is this experience and on the quality of our products. The experience comes through the rider, a real ambassador of the brand who is hired on a permanent contract with real prospects for development within the team. The quality of our products is also very important. The objective is to offer a new way of consuming, which means that tomorrow, you'll no longer need to get up in the morning when it's raining at 8am, or go and get your bread in the rain or your aperitif in the evening. We really want to replace a mode of consumption that is now no longer suited to the customer's needs. We are part of this wider current of changes in consumption accelerated by the pandemic.

So, consuming better, differently and less -- does that sound like what you're doing?
That's a good way to sum up Gorillas. Because consuming less means consuming what you need, and the on-demand model achieves that very well, only bringing what's needed at a given time. And consuming better because we care about traceability and the origin of our products, and it is important to know that a significant part of our selection, about 30%, comes from local traders or brands. We work with local businesses, such as Anthony Bosson's bakery L'Essentiel, which brings us the product freshness you would find when going out [shopping] in the street. And differently, yes, because times are changing and today we know that a family spends an average of one to two hours per week shopping for groceries. But people don't want to spend two hours in stores crammed in with everybody else. Instead, they want to spend their time on essential things. Gorillas allows people to consume differently, but also for the better, because it allows them to do other things instead.

Axel Barre

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