Groningen launches pilot to boost local shopping


Startup in Residence alumnus Zupr, the Groningen City Club and delivery startup Dropper launched Warehouse Groningen yesterday, a pilot project and online platform to pinpoint where products are sold locally, along with same day sustainable delivery. The first 1.000 orders will be delivered free of charge.

With Christmas around the corner, online orders pile up and deliveries tend to get delayed. Although these last minute Christmas presents can also be bought locally, there’s no easy way to locate the nearest store where you can buy them. Warehouse Groningen aims to solve that problem and around 45 local stores have signed up, with plans to expand to a total of 60. The pilot will run until February.


Online visibility for everyone

“It’s increasingly difficult for local retailers to compete with big players online”, says Zupr founder Michiel Vos. “Online visibility is no longer self-evident and getting more and more expensive. However, in the past couple of years, there has been an increase of Google searches about where products can be bought locally. Zupr develops solutions to allow any store, big or small, to play into local demand and showcase their products online, without the need for a webshop or hefty costs.”


More sustainable and faster delivery than most webshops

“And when people find the right product, but don’t have time to go to the store to pick it up, we’ll take care of the delivery, fast and sustainable”, says Dropper founder Jantine Doornbos. With her team, she developed a software solution to efficiently plan deliveries, so orders can be delivered by bicycle courier within 4 hours after purchase.”

“Because these deliveries are done by bike, we can cut down emissions here in our city, which is of course crucial these days”, says Groningen City Club chairman Eric Bos, one of the initiators of the pilot with Zupr and Dropper. “And to let the city get to know Warehouse Groningen, the first 1.000 drops are free of charge.”


Testing innovations

“Warehouse Groningen was a collaborative effort and shows that innovation means working together”, Bos continues. “The coming months will be used to validate the platform and get as much feedback as we can from retailers, brands and consumers.”

Michiel Vos agrees: “Exactly. They’re the ones who’re going to use and embrace the platform, so we’re going to work hard to create a full online overview of local product supply. The days when your online visibility depends on your advertising budget are gone, as far as we’re concerned.”

Photo credits: Douwe de Boer