Back to the dark ages? The rise of a new retail model

Groceries at your doorstep in less than 20 minutes. That’s the promise of a relatively […]

09:00 - 18:00
Berlin, Germany
Back to the dark ages? The rise of a new retail model

In order to give you access to our events, FEPS processes your personal data together with any other organiser of this event mentioned in the description of the event and in accordance with 'FEPS’ data protection policy. Once registered to one of our events, it is FEPS’ legitimate interest to send you our Newsletter to which you can oppose at any time.

Groceries at your doorstep in less than 20 minutes. That’s the promise of a relatively new segment of the platform economy. From small dark stores and supermarkets in urban centres, riders race through the city with your eggs, lettuce, or wash product.

Little is known about the business models of those new companies, the working conditions and status of workers in the sector, and challenges and opportunities for labour organising.

Is this a substantial innovation with clear benefits, or is the sector relying on an unsustainable squeezing of low-paid and poorly protected workers?

FEPS and UNI Europa have teamed up to study this new sector. In this Labor.a session, early insights of an international research were shared and discussed.


  • Steve Rolf, Economic and Social Research (ESRC) Council Researcher Fellow at the Digital Futures at Work (Digit) Research Centre, University of Sussex
  • Frank van Bennekom, Union Official, Young & United at the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV)
  • Janine Berg, Senior Economist, ILO
  • Moderator: Justin Nogarede, Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)
UNI Europa
Find all related publications

European perceptions of public programmes for zero unemployment

Online survey and qualitative interviews: The results

Bidding farewell to workfare?

Recovery Watch series

Is the digital transition a lever for structural reforms or does it reinforce the divide?

Recovery Watch series

Back to the Dark Ages?

Q-commerce, rapid retail and the changing landscape of retail work
Find all related events
FEPS HQ, Brussels (Expert meeting)

Security at work in an uncertain world III

FEPS and Progressive Britain are partnering up on a major new project on the future […]
Kielce, Poland

Work-life balance – Life under control

Challenges for Social Democracy Series

The future of care: platform work & digitalisation

Care4Care Policy series
Find all related news

Feminist Leadership for Women in CSOs

Survey for women in leadership

Digital programme: Algorithms at the workplace

FEPS, together with Nordic partners, launched a Digital Program on algorithmic management and workers' rights

Let’s end involuntary unemployment!

European survey on the perception of unemployment and publicly funded jobs

Call to participants: Training Days for Social Business

Switzerland, September 3rd 2022
Find all related in the media
In the media

AI, platforms and (human) workers’ rights

by Social Europe 07/07/2023
In Social Europe' article, Gerard Rinse Oosterwijk, FEPS Policy Analyst on Digital, talks about the efforts to regulate AI undertaken by the EU and highlights the importance to grasp this opportunity to set the rules for a human-centric approach

Rapid grocery worker conditions are worsening, states report

by The Grocer 30/05/2023
The findings of our FEPS study on the quick-commerce sector and the conditions of rider workers were picked up by the UK-website 'The Grocer’.

Quick commerce – not turning a fast buck

by Social Europe 15/05/2023
Article on Social Europe by the authors of 'Back to the Dark Ages?' FEPS Policy Study about the quick-commerce workers' rights.

Work insecurity: the high cost of ultra-fast grocery deliveries

by euobserver 30/03/2023
EUobserver on the ultra-fast grocery deliveries and our policy study 'Back to the Dark Ages? Quick Commerce and the changing landscape of retail work', published in collaboration with Uni Europa.