Getir Cuts 11% of Workforce as Ultrafast Delivery Slows

Grocery delivery service Getir will lay off 2,500 workers to “increase operational efficiency.”

The Turkish company announced the job cuts — which amount to a nearly 11% reduction of its workforce — in a Tuesday (Aug. 22) announcement emailed to PYMNTS. It’s the latest sign of a slowdown in the ultrafast delivery space.

“The Getir network consists of roughly 23,000 people across five countries,” the company said in the announcement. “This number includes couriers, pickers and office employees. Regrettably, Getir intends to reduce its team and, with a heavy heart, part ways with approximately 2,500 talented employees across its markets.”

The news comes a little less than a month after Getir announced plans to exit Italy, Portugal and Spain “to focus its financial resources on existing markets where the opportunities for operational profitability and sustainable growth are stronger.”

The company said then — and reiterated Tuesday — that it will continue to operate in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and its home country, markets that make up 96% of its business.

At the beginning of the year, Getir seemed immune from the challenges plaguing other players in the ultrafast grocery delivery arena. That changed in April, following reports — which the company dismissed as false — that Getir’s most recent fundraise had reduced Getir’s valuation by nearly half, from $12 billion last year down to $6.5 billion.

“Ultrafast delivery, which seemed so promising to many in 2021, when it appeared to some that there was no limit to consumers’ shift to on-demand fulfillment prompted by the pandemic, has not fared well in recent years,” PYMNTS wrote last month after DoorDash ended its ultrafast pilot program in New York City. “The year 2022 saw layoffs, exits from certain markets, and shutdowns of many players that were rapidly expanding the year prior, and those challenges have continued through this year.”

Fueling these challenges — at least in the U.S. — is a consumer base that is more interested in eCommerce fulfillment channels that balance convenience and value than in spending on high-labor-cost channels like on-demand delivery.

Research from PYMNTS’ study “12 Months of the ConnectedEconomy™: 33,000 Consumers on Digital’s Role in Their Everyday Lives,” found that 41% of consumers reported purchasing groceries online for curbside pickup in the prior month. By contrast, a substantially lower 34% ordered groceries online from an on-demand delivery aggregator like Instacart or from grocers’ same-day delivery services.