Grocery Delivery Apps Take LES Retail

Posted on: January 4th, 2022 at 5:02 am by

Grocery delivery apps are scooping up vacant commercial space across the city. At least two have already spawned on the Lower East Side, mere blocks from one another on the south side of Delancey.

Gorillas, a leader in the delivery app sphere, took over the recently renovated 294 Grand Street. (Former home to Fabrics by Rita which moved around the corner in 2015.) It skinned the windows with vinyl ads promising “store to door” service in ten minutes without any minimum orders.

To the east, meanwhile, in the orbit of Seward Park, is Getir, a Turkey-based startup that offers “ultra fast” delivery of goods. It just completed build-out of the former ILoveKickboxing gym (successor to G&S Sporting Goods), which was a victim of the pandemic.

This operation, while smaller, takes up more sidewalk real estate with its mounds of refuse and fleet of e-bikes outside 43 Essex Street.

Foot traffic is not the goal with these placements. Both storefronts are essentially “ghost” operations in that neither offers a public-facing retail benefit to the common pedestrian. These spaces now serve the digital shopper sitting on the proverbial couch.

As Eater noted in an article about this pandemic-fueled trend, Gorillas and its ilk may likely impact neighborhood bodegas much in the way Uber upset the yellow cab industry in the city.

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