Kristof Van Beveren, UK General Manager of Getir, reflects on the successes and challenges of the past year, and how Getir is expanding its franchise model…
Tried and tested app-based grocery delivery platform Getir, has hit the ground running in the UK last year, with around 100 distribution centres taking orders across 12 UK cities, and plans to add more.
And it is franchising that has been at the heart of its rapid expansion.
The firm was founded in Turkey in 2015 by innovator Nazim Salur, where it franchised the vast majority of its stores. The UK journey began with the opening of five distribution centres in January 2021 and it has launched in eight countries in just seven months, serving urban populations across both Europe and the US. It now operates in Turkey, UK, US, Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
UK boss Kristof Van Beveren, spent the first part of his career working for well-established companies such as Procter & Gamble and McKinsey & Company, before co-founding Weezy – the UK’s first rapid grocery retailer, in 2019. Getir acquired Weezy in late 2021 and Van Beveren has played an integral role in Getir’s growth in the UK market.
His strategy for the UK launch was to acquire as much market share as possible to make Getir the leader in the sector. He is now focussed on building loyalty and trust among consumers by delivering an extensive product range, “great customer experience and excellent service every time our customers open the app”.
Explaining exactly what the Getir brand represents, he says: “We’re the pioneer of ultra-fast groceries – using innovative mobile app technology and logistics to bring customers their groceries in minutes.
“With over 1,500 products to choose from we strive to ensure no customer is ever disappointed. Our range is really broad, so whether you need fresh fruit an umbrella or Calpol for the kids, Getir has got you covered.
“We’re also committed to best practice in every area of the business. As leaders we are responsible for setting benchmarks we hope others will emulate. A key theme is making sustainability synonymous with rapid grocery delivery – which is why everything is delivered by a 100% electric fleet.”
The key to Getir, and its USP, says Van Beveren, is in its data, its approach to customer service and also in its employer brand, backing its workforce with good standards of pay and conditions.
“Our customers tell us what they want and how they want it and we listen. We know what good looks like, and we know how to run a profitable business, and key to that is a successful franchise format.
“We’ve also set the standard for our sector with our workforce when it comes to safety and sustainability and are also leading the way to combat low pay. Getir is certified by The Real Living Wage Foundation. Our franchise model also contains policies around minimum pay thresholds to ensure all sites meet the Living Wage criteria, an issue our franchisees are also passionate about.
“All Getirians receive pension contributions, sick pay, paid holidays and insurance, and we supply all our riders with electric vehicles and all the PPE they need, including all weather protective clothing. Our franchised stores are no exception, we expect our franchisees to uphold these practices to keep Getir market leaders for employment.
“Every Getir store also has a dedicated staff room for store teams, complete with refreshments, so they can relax when on break, and shelter from the weather when not delivering groceries.
“We recently scored 8/10 in the 2022 Fairwork UK ratings, coming second in the overall league table for our labour practices, and receiving the highest score in the rapid delivery sector.”
Getir has been busy forming supply partnerships in the UK, the most recent of which was a deal with Nisa Retail, the wholesale division of The Co-op Group, which will be supplying its range of around 300 Co-op branded products, massively increasing the choice available to customers.
“Not only will this mean we can serve customers better by offering a broader range of quick meals, quality meat, and fresh fruit and veg, but it will also support us in realising our customer-first mission, and continuing our rapid growth across the UK. For our franchisees this is another example of Getir’s commitment to delivering the best service for our customers and a compelling franchise model for franchisees.”
It’s important to say that what Getir is not is a mere chain of convenience stores. The franchise opportunity lies in its autonomous distribution centres.
“Our operations are complex and decentralised – this is the nature of a people-first business. Our business model does not accommodate vast numbers of centrally located stores, as this would hinder our growth,” explains Van Beveren.
“The responsibility of each store lies with the franchisees, who assume full ownership of operations for that store. This means challenges are quickly resolved by franchisees, before they can develop into bigger issues.
“We’re seeing our franchisees thrive within this business model. They care, and they treat their customers and staff well. We’re big advocates of local ownership – serving local communities, using local suppliers, hiring local employees and supporting local infrastructure.”
Set-up costs to become a Getir franchise cover construction, set-up and installation of the warehouse, a fleet of electric vehicles and all fleet-related equipment, in-store assets, and a franchise fee.
The business can be up and running four weeks after an agreement has been signed and each franchisee receives ongoing support and mentoring throughout the franchise term, as well as the opportunity to rapidly scale and grow the business.
There are no ongoing royalty or marketing fees for the franchisees.
Getir knows who its customer base is and know what it wants when it comes to shopping. Price is a key factor in its offering and it often runs price promotions that are sympathetic to the times we are living through.
“As a business, Getir takes its mission to make a positive impact in the local communities it serves very seriously,” says Van Beveren. “As more families reach out to food banks, we’ve donated the surplus food in our stores to provide over 500,000 meals for people that are struggling in the current economic climate.
“In addition we are always looking for ways we can surprise and delight our customers, for example throughout August, we rolled back grocery prices to the 90s in response to the cost of living crisis and high inflation rates. We also provide regular promotions in our app, and enable our customers to enjoy greater value as their baskets get larger.”
Shifting product is not the only measure of success for Getir. To really achieve brand loyalty, Van Beveren says he wants franchises to fully integrate into their local communities.
“Our job is to ensure we can deliver the best products, the best service and the best experience every single time. That builds trust and in turn trust builds loyalty. That’s how we measure success,” he says.
For prospective UK franchisees, the Getir boss promises a fast ride (albeit on an electric vehicle of some sort).
“Be prepared for an exhilarating, challenging and rewarding journey. Rapid growth, high change, and lots of opportunities. At Getir, we proudly go against the status quo. We’re disruptors of the market. So another piece of advice I’d offer is, if you believe this is something that excites you, don’t wait.”