Rotterdam joins Amsterdam in freezing new ‘dark shops’


The city of Rotterdam has said it will freeze the introduction of any further ‘black shops’ – small distribution centers in the city used as hubs for on-demand grocery services like Getir, Gorillas – for a year. , Flink, Zapp and others.

The move follows a similar decision from Amsterdam last week as residents of the city fend off nuisance from services that promise delivery in 10 minutes or less. These have multiplied in major cities across Europe since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everyone knows them by now: darkened windows, traffic disruption in shopping streets, loading noise, reckless bike deliverers and nuisance from waiting drivers,” Rotterdam city councilor Roos Vermeij said in a statement.

“There’s nothing wrong in principle with fast delivery, but the way it’s done in practice is really irritating.”

Amsterdam last week froze dark new store openings for a year, citing complaints from the public.

Dark shops

The city estimated there were 31 dark shops within its boundaries, and Rotterdam said on Thursday it had 13 “and rapidly growing”, all established in the past half-year.

A city spokesperson said existing stores would not be required to close.

“As a business, we wouldn’t exist if people didn’t want to use our service,” Getir said, noting that he created jobs for local workers.

“The very local nature of our business means we want to be a good neighbor and we work hard to be one. We have an open communication policy and dedicated teams to ensure we respond quickly to any request.

Getir, along with Germany-headquartered Flink and Gorillas, said they intended to work with city governments to resolve the issues. Briton Zapp could not immediately be reached for comment.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more retail news, click here. Click subscribe to register ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.


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