#132 FEPS Talks ‘Dark stores: Are the riders squeezed for super-fast grocery delivery?’

Quick-commerce is a service aimed at achieving superfast delivery from ‘dark stores’ to the consumer. And recently, they have boomed!

To learn more about these developments, Gerard Oosterwijk, Digital Policy Analyst for FEPS, interviews Rachel Verdin, Research fellow of the University of Sussex Business School. She and a team of researchers investigated three countries (Germany, Spain and the UK), where they unveiled the health conditions of the employees in the sector, their job security and social rights.

These firms use worker-intensive methods to deliver impressive convenience to your door. But who pays the price? She discovered that since this business is hard to sustain financially, and that the workers and riders bear the actual costs. This sector profits from advances in digital technology, weak labour markets, and abundant investment capital.

Together they discuss to what extent this sector overlaps with, and differs from, the broader gig and platform economy, what it means for EU policy-making and its enforcement, and what we can expect for the future, as the venture capital that has funded unsustainably low delivery prices and loss-making firms is drying up.

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