Bloomberg ran a story over the weekend about Russian grocery delivery service, Samokat, expanding into New York City this August. The U.S. operations will go by the name Buyk and will use the dark-store, limited-delivery radius model that has become all the rage this year.
According to Bloomberg, Buyk already has agreements to open up a number of dark stores that will each deliver to a roughly one-mile radius. The company says that because it developed the technology three years ago and already has experience scaling in Russia, it will have an advantage over its competitors here in the States.
And it will be facing competition when it opens up in New York. By our count, Buyk will be the fourth such, small, speedy, grocery delivery service operating in the Big Apple by the end of this summer, joining Fridge No More, Gorillas and JOKR. Interstingly, Buyk and Gorillas are both foreign companies (Russia and Germany, respectively) that are looking to gain an early foothold in the U.S. early on in the speedy grocery delivery game before more homegrown competitors spring up.
My question for our New York-based Spoon readers is: Are you using these services? Granted they are really new so you may not have had time to check them out yet. JOKR just launched in June, Gorillas launched at the end of May and Fridge No More in October of last year. Given the newness of these services and their small, neighborhood-focused approach, a lot of people probably still haven’t learned about or have access to this new type of on-demand-groceries-in-less-than-fifteen-minutes service.
But at least one New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal reporter Anne Kadet, appears to be hooked after testing Gorillas, Fridge No More and JOKR. Earlier this month, Kadet wrote:
My conclusion? Whether you need a full grocery delivery or just a carton of milk for the pancake batter you’ve already started, you can’t go wrong with any of the three. They all offer a user-friendly app, no minimum delivery, decent prices and service that lives up to their speed guarantees.
As I’ve written before, on-demand speedy grocery delivery has the potential to upend the way we shop for groceries. Whether we need a last-minute ingredient, are throwing an impromptu party or are just feeling lazy, the ability to summon our food and drinks with a few taps could alter our relationship to grocery retail. This, in turn, could put pressure on existing large retailers like Albertsons and Kroger to change the way they do business. That is, if these new speedy upstarts can scale economically. Which means they’ll need a lot of customers in those small delivery areas.
Which is why I’m asking, New Yorkers, are you using any of these services? Leave a comment or drop us a line and let us know!
I used Gorillas in Brooklyn and was impressed that the delivery actually arrived within 10 minutes! Insanely fast!
Chris Albrecht says
Do you think it will change how you grocery shop?
Biggest downside is that it will affect sales to the mom and pop corner store deli’s and bodegas, which are NYC staples.