LONDON, Oct 14 (Businesshala) – Russia’s biggest internet company sent its yellow-shirted moped riders to deliver groceries across London on Thursday, the latest newcomer to launch in a crowded field that Britain’s traditional groceries are forcing them to revamp their business model.
Yango Deli, run by Russian tech giant Yandex (YNDX.O), is opening four London “dark stores” – shops closed to customers, where employees prepare orders for delivery – keeping 1.4 million potential customers in the range.
In one of its new stores, in an arch beneath a brick railway viaduct in Battersea, south London, a fleet of bright yellow mopeds and bikes were parked outside for couriers.
Nasdaq-listed Yandex is Russia’s most popular independent Internet search engine and largest ride-hailing provider. “Russian Google” is comparatively little known outside its home market, but it says its experience delivering groceries from nearly 400 Dark stores at home and new ventures in Israel and France will give it a technological advantage.
“We are not really a new company – we have done it before,” said Yevgeny Chernikov, general manager of Yango Daily UK. “(We) have a huge bank of technical talent which means we can do many things much better and on a much larger scale than others.”
It launched food delivery services in Paris in August and in Israel last year. But London is particularly competitive. Yango’s couriers will have to contend for street space from other newcomers like Weezy, Getir, Deeja and Gorilla, to say nothing of vans from Uber, Amazon, and traditional grocers.
Chernikov said the Russian formula would need to be tweaked a bit in Britain: it costs more to hire workers, but British customers have more money to spend.
“So it’s about adjusting the business model to economic conditions.”