Popular Russian grocery delivery service eyes US market
In the US, Samokat (the Russian for ‘scooter’) will operate under the name Buyk. The founders of the St. Petersburg-based company are targeting 10,000 orders a month in New York by year-end.
“We understand that there are higher costs in New York. But there is also a higher check,” the service co-founder Vyacheslav Bocharov said in an interview with Bloomberg.Also on rt.com Russian e-commerce giant Wildberries launches sales in US
Buyk has already found dark stores in New York. Dark stores are small, centrally-located warehouses that commonly help couriers fill orders quickly.
Buyk's service will offer free delivery, with its couriers expected to deliver food and other goods by bike within a radius of a mile (1.5 kilometer).The firm is reportedly hiring about 100 people for operations, as well as 500 couriers.
The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a boom in grocery delivery services, as customers developed a habit of ordering food while self-isolating or avoiding crowded spaces.
In Russia, orders have reportedly surged 14-fold since 2019, pushing Samokat to the top three food delivery service providers by sales volume. In terms of orders, the firm remains the largest in the country.Also on rt.com Germans go gaga for Russian food discounter Mere amid nostalgia for ‘Iron Curtain’ era
Samokat has an unmatched advantage over its rivals, as the company is familiar with “scaling a project very quickly in new cities,” co-founder of Data Insight Boris Ovchinnikov said, stressing that “a big challenge will be that it’s impossible to use such a cheap workforce in New York as they’re used to in Russia.”
Samokat couriers in Russia get an average hourly payment of 190 rubles ($2.63). Meanwhile, the median hourly wage for food and grocery delivery drivers in the US is reportedly around $16.
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