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Two 'Virtual Supermarkets' To Open In Portugal: Report

Portugal will soon see two new players enter the 'dark store' business in the food retail sector, according to a report in Economia Online.

The virtual supermarkets aim to capitalise on the growth of home delivery services, which offer the added value of delivering grocery shopping from the warehouse to the customer's home much sooner than leading retailers.

Virtual Supermarkets

Barcelona-based Blok is already present in Spain and Italy and will now expand to Portugal.

It is already seeking people for its warehouses, which will deliver products purchased by app users. It is also looking for warehouses in Lisbon and Porto to store products.

For Gorillas, Portugal will be its fifth market, after Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and France.

The company is still in the process of recruiting a person to take charge of business expansion in Portugal, the report said.

Both companies will follow the Amazon model and operate from warehouses, which stock all products advertised through its apps, the report said.

The model is similar to meal delivery services from Uber, Glovo or Bolt, but geared towards everyday shopping.

While Glovo delivers products such as fruit, eggs and bread within 20 minutes, both Blok and Gorillas offer to get groceries to consumers' homes in as little as ten minutes.

According to a recent study, the use of food and grocery delivery apps is rising even as lockdown restrictions ease around the world.

'Disrupt The Supermarket Space'

The German company said that its goal is to 'disrupt the supermarket space', dominated by traditional players such as Sonae, which operates the Continente banner, and Jerónimo Martins, the parent of Pingo Doce, according to the report.

Elsewhere, Portuguese on-demand marketplace Mercadão opened its first dark store that caters to customers in Lisbon, Loures, Odivelas and Sintra.

The shop consists of a small distribution centre that stores, sorts and ships products bought at Mercadão. 

Deliveries are guaranteed by personal shoppers, who go to the distribution centre to collect the products and deliver the purchases within two hours.

© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Branislav Pekic. For more Retail news click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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