Three-quarters of rapid grocer Getir’s UK close to 100 dark stores are now run by franchisees, just a year after the company launched the model, The Grocer can reveal.

The quick commerce player began seeking franchisees to operate its dark stores late last year, after its first UK franchisee came on board that September to run a micro warehouse site in central London.

Since then the company has franchised stores “across the UK, with a particularly large presence in London and Birmingham”, Getir UK head of franchise Richard North told The Grocer.

“Our ambition is to continue growing the franchise network until we are 100% franchised,” he added.

Close to a third of franchisee operators run more than one dark store, Getir said.

According to its initial franchise prospectus, franchise holders invest between £140,000 and £205,000, depending on the size of the dark store, and take responsibility for employing picking staff and couriers, as well as the day-to-day running of the location.

A return on franchisees’ investment is promised within two to three years, “or even sooner based on the efficiency and speed of your store”. As part of their investment, franchisees receive “the premises, lease, staff and stock all included”, an offer document seen by The Grocer states.

Upon launching the model, North said Getir “set to work building the best tools to support franchisees while also generating demand through national marketing, events, social media and word of mouth”.

“This approach quickly created widespread interest,” North added. “It was critical to us that we attracted and onboarded the right kind of franchisees, so we created a recruitment process that would test their understanding of the business as well as their appetite for entrepreneurship. We explained in detail what we needed from them, and let them know how important they are to the success of Getir. It’s been a huge success.”

The company built a team with experience in each element of operating a dark store, with data gathered on each to track store and franchisee performance.

“We also give our franchisees the means to access the performance data of their own store with the support of our core team,” North said. “We have been successful in helping our network to achieve more, and we continue to support and encourage their growth – a win for one of us is a win for all of us.” 

While burgeoning in the UK, Getir has been operating a franchise model in its home nation of Turkey for the past six years. Rival Gopuff does not have a franchise offer, but Gorillas – which is reportedly in advanced talks to be acquired by Getir – has several franchisee-run dark stores in Europe.

Three quarters of rapid grocer Getir’s dark stores now franchisee run