Amsterdam tells flash grocery firms to stop creating neighborhood distribution hubs
The Amsterdam city council will no longer allow new "dark stores" for flash delivery to open. In the coming year, the municipality wants to determine which conditions these neighborhood distribution points must meet and which locations they are best suited to. The city made this decision due to nuisance caused by couriers dropping off and picking up groceries for local residents.
The number of speed deliverers, like Gorillas, Getir, and Flink, who promise to deliver ordered items within minutes, is rising rapidly. Amsterdam now has about 30 "dark stores," often located in the middle of residential areas. These are a kind of distribution center with taped windows, where groceries are stored and from where the company delivers to customers in the area via bicycle and scooter couriers.
They are often located in buildings intended for ordinary shops, but according to the municipality, they cause the nuisance of a supermarket. The dark stores fall between supermarkets and regular shops, with many transport movements but no visitors. They don't have a permit for a supermarket, which is far from allowed everywhere.
According to responsible alderman Marieke van Doorninck, the municipality receives complaints about blocked sidewalks, the street scene, road safety, and noise at night. "With this decision, the council is pressing pause before the increase in dark stores for flash delivery gets out of hand," said the alderman. "In the meantime, our enforcers will keep an extra eye on the nuisance of existing dark stores with flash delivery."
In the coming year, the city council wants to develop a policy that applies to the entire city. According to the municipality, Amsterdam is the first to take this step in the Netherlands. Other cities also face these problems.
Reporting by ANP.