Portuguese start-up Hoogloo is the latest player in the 'dark store' delivery business, promising warehouse-to-home deliveries in less than one hour.
Founded by two former employees of Portuguese national airline TAP, Hoogloo operates from a warehouse in Amadora, northwest of Lisbon, and initially covers that municipality, in addition to Lisbon, Oeiras and a part of Sintra.
Users can access the virtual shop either online or via dedicated apps for iOS and Android devices.
The start-up promises deliveries within an hour, provided orders are made between 09:00 and 23:00.
The delivery fee is €2.95 and there is no minimum quantity of products. For orders below €19.95, the company charges an additional fee of €2, while there is no fee for purchases over €50.
The product categories available range from health and wellness to frozen foods, as well as organic products and even pet food.
Developing The Concept
Founder and CEO João Alves told Economia Online that the idea that gave rise to Hoogloo came in the middle of the pandemic.
"We wanted to shop and there was nothing that met our expectations. It was either the supermarkets and the queues, and we were kept waiting, or the online services were outdated", he explained.
Hoogloo is expecting an increase in customer volume as a marketing compaign is about to get underway.
To manage customer orders, it plans to introduce three alternatives to its fast deliveries: partner services, the use of 'Uber'-type companies or self-employed workers who sign up to make the company's deliveries.
The short-term goal is to expand coverage in Greater Lisbon, open more warehouses, and hire more personnel, ahead of launching in Porto.
The 'dark store' concept is becoming increasingly competitive, with newcomers Blok and Gorillas joining established players like Glovo which has seen 150% growth since the start of the pandemic and plans to have 16 dark stores operating Portugal.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine