In maximum two weeks’ time, German flash delivery company Gorillas will have left the Belgian market. 240 people lose their jobs after a series of conflicting messages end in mass redundancies.
Last week’s denial
Just a week ago, Gorillas still formally denied a decision about an exit from Belgium was made. The quick commerce player admitted it would close a few warehouses, but said it would certainly remain active in both Antwerp and Brussels.
However, talks with the trade unions proved otherwise, as the delivery service said it did want to leave Belgium as quickly as possible. The 240 employees (Gorrilas works with real employment contracts rather than using freelancers) are to receive almost double the legal redundancy compensation, Belgian newspaper De Standaard reports.
However, a part of Gorillas’ Belgian activities might still be saved: the company is negotiating with supermarket chains like Colruyt and Delhaize to see if they are prepared to take certain activities on board. The results of those negotiations should be made public later in the day.
Gorillas started its Belgian operations in Antwerp and Brussels precisely a year ago, and was confident it could soon expand to Ghent as well. The company became Jumbo‘s strategic partner in the Benelux, but has now found out that in the current financial reality, flash delivery costs are sky-high and investors are not willing to fill the holes any more.
This forced Gorillas to change tactics, shifting its focus from expansion towards profitability. The company therefore will focus on five key markets: France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.