Entrepreneur E-commerce: dark store and relay points, Kol’s logistics strategy

E-commerce: dark store and relay points, Kol’s logistics strategy

It is nine o’clock. The sanitary curfew has fallen and supermarkets have lowered their gates. It is at this hour that the rush period begins for an army of food delivery men, who roam the streets of the capital on scooters or bicycles. Among them, the delivery men of the start-up Kol, determined to “save the aperitif” of Parisians.

“During the confinement, people planned more or less well the fact of no longer having access to wine merchants or supermarkets. So they called on us ”, explain Baptiste guez and Pierre Nicolet, the two co-founders of the young shoot.

Monthly turnover multiplied by five

Created in 2015, their start-up launched itself as an online wine merchant: in one order via the application or the website, it is possible to have bottles of wine, beers or spirits delivered in 20 minutes flat, day and night. And “at tasting temperature”, please.

Because neither the confinements, nor the closing of the bars have signed the end of the consumption of alcoholic beverages, whether for a birthday party in a small committee or a simple romantic dinner. “With the sanitary restrictions, as people couldn’t get together, the only moments of fun were food and drink,” the co-founders noted.

They notice that their clients, generally “young dynamic urban executives”, then tended to move away from “entry-level products” and to “favor quality”, such as certain more expensive wines or spirits.

Many Parisians have placed their first order on Kol in recent months. “It’s the explosion: before, we were around 250-300 orders on Friday evening, there, we regularly exceed 1,500 orders”, notes Pierre Nicolet. Last May, monthly turnover exceeded 630,000 euros, “More than five times that of last year, which was already exceptional,” he adds.

The start-up of around thirty employees was able to keep up with its “dark store”: a 600 square meter warehouse where their merchandise is stored. It allows them not to depend on wine merchants or supermarkets and to “work directly with suppliers”. “The products are then dispatched to several relay points in Paris, which will have between 1,000 and 1,500 references”. From there the fleet of 150 to 200 deliverers deployed every day.

To boost its growth, which is swelling at the moment “at rates of 30% per month or more” and to survive in this very competitive sector, the young shoot has invested from the first confinement in an advertising campaign in the metro. She also decided to diversify by offering groceries and prepared meals. “We are now at 20% of products excluding drinks in our orders, and the goal is to reach 50%”, specifies Baptiste Guez.

Already supported by Coca-Cola, whose European investment fund took 25% of the capital in 2019, Kol is preparing a new fundraising in the coming months. With an expansion in view in other large French cities.

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