Dutch online supermarket Picnic saw its losses triple in 2021, but co-founder Michiel Muller says that growth remains the first requirement, even as other e-commerce players put on the brakes.
Picnic ended 2021 with a loss of 114 million euros, almost three times more than in 2020. Turnover went up by half to 719 million euros. It is already certain that the online supermarket will also remain below zero in 2022, but it is not clear yet what the impact of the purchasing power crisis and cost inflation will be in 2022.
Muller, brother of the Ahold Delhaize CEO, does not think the losses are a problem: In fact, the e-commerce player continues to consciously walk this path, even now that other digital companies are being forced by investors to make a profit. A new capital round led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust provided the company with 600 million just last year, so there is no reason to put on the brakes.
On the contrary: Muller wants to go full throttle. “In the Netherlands we are already profitable, so we could stop investing there and go for profits. However, our investors – and ourselves – prefer to seize the opportunity and grow a bit faster“, he told Dutch newspaper FD.
Picnic believes it is near the maximum extent of its expansion in the Netherlands, though, so it has now set its sights to France, where the online supermarket has been operating there since last year. In Germany, meanwhile, the company is building an automated distribution centre. In the future, delivery rounds should become even more efficient and filling the digital shopping trolley easier. On the contrary, Muller did not speak at akk about Belgium, even though the country is now completely surrounded.