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A breakthrough in food e-commerce is coming?

Recent weeks have brought a number of media reports on the development of the Internet channel by the largest food chains in Poland. Lidl has established cooperation with Inpost, under the power of which parcel machines will appear under the shops of the German chain. 40% of the capacity of the devices is to be intended for Lidl – it will be possible to pick up products previously ordered via the Internet from parcel machines. The project is planned to start in 2019 or 2020. At the beginning of September 2018 Frisco.pl joined Żabka Polska, the owner of Żabka network and Freshmarket. This indicates a possible launch of online sales also by the largest convenience store chain in Poland. To begin with, Żabka, in cooperation with Microsoft, plans to introduce more digital solutions to its stores.

This is not the end of reports on possible entries into the digital market. Jeronimo Martins is already testing online sales of Pingo Doce products in Portugal. By the end of 2018, the service is to be available throughout the country, and its success depends on when Biedronka will also have its online store. Eurocash’s Delikatesy Centrum supermarket chain is also planning to introduce online sales in the largest cities by 2023. A chain of Orlen petrol stations is also planning to launch its own online grocery store. After the introduction of such a service, the stations of the chain would function as reception points. Thus, the market would see another significant player – Orlen has about 1.8 thousand petrol stations in Poland.

Allegro is also more interested in food trade. According to unofficial information, the current model of selling food from independent sellers (which makes it difficult to make complex purchases – one-off purchases consist of several orders) would be replaced by a hybrid, where the sale of basic food products would be taken over by the platform itself, and the shipment would be carried out from a central warehouse. The platform’s offer is still to consist mainly of dry and loose products. Regardless of Allegro’s offer, independent retailers would continue to operate on the platform.

Everything indicates that in a few years the situation in the food e-commerce market will be similar to that of other segments of the Internet sales market, where practically all major stationary store chains already have their own e-shops.

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