Amsterdam banishes rapid grocery deliverers to business parks

Rapid delivery services in Amsterdam are only allowed to establish themselves in business parks and no longer in residential areas. In very exceptional cases, dark stores will be permitted in mixed residential and work areas. The city council approved a zoning plan to that effect on Wednesday. The decision means that approximately ten branches in the city will likely have to close their doors or move eventually.

Drivers for rapid delivery services like Getir, Flink, and Gorillas deliver groceries within minutes of ordering. Last year, the municipality said it wanted to ban dark stores – these services’ distribution spots – from residential areas and would not allow any new ones to open for the time being. Delivery and collection of groceries by couriers would cause too much nuisance for local residents.

Several dark stores had to close or move as a result. The rapid delivery companies fought the city’s policy in several lawsuits about existing locations. So far, the municipality has won every case. “After several lawsuits and penalty payments, it is now clear to all parties that rapid delivery in Amsterdam only has a future if it happens from business parks,” the municipality previously said.

According to alderman Reinier van Dantzig (Spatial Planning), the new policy ensures that rapid deliverers no longer cause nuisance in residential areas. “Amsterdam residents get a nicer living environment in this way.”

According to a Getir spokesperson, there is a great need for their services in Amsterdam, and over 250,000 locals have placed orders. “Unfortunately, the municipality has ignored these points. This zoning plan discriminates. It treats our sector differently from comparable services that also deliver.”

Getir pointed out that the company adapted in recent years and that independent research showed that rapid delivery services have no more or less impact on the living environment than comparable services. “We will continue to fight for equal treatment, and we will continue to focus on this in our next steps,” said the spokesperson.

Earlier on Wednesday, Getir and Flink jointly announced a tightened code of conduct “to be able to properly address the wishes of local residents and municipalities, such as a point of contact per store, more attention to public space, and further rules of conduct for staff.” They also set an 18 years age limit on delivery drivers.

Reporting by ANP

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