In the middle of the maelstrom of riders in Barcelona –now with a paralyzed strike, for now–, Glovo announces the acquisition of another startup with history: Lola Market. It is the definitive confirmation that the future of the Spanish unicorn is directly focused on the business of online supermarkets or Q-Commerce; one that began a little over a year ago and is already the undisputed protagonist for the company alongside restaurants. In fact, with this acquisition, the Q-Commerce division will reach a gross value of more than 300 million euros by the end of 2021 and that it expects to exceed 1 billion euros by 2022, according to company figures.
The details of the purchase are scarce in any case. On the table, the fact that Glovo has acquired Lola Market’s businesses in Spain; as well as Mercadão’s business in Portugal –its peer in the neighboring country–. Together they already add more than 30 shopping establishments in different cities.
However, Lola Market’s business makes a difference compared to Glovo’s. If the unicorn has been specializing in proximity shopping with its own establishments located in strategic points of the cities, the case of Lola Market is completely different. They are Personal Shopper – which we can now call riders– those who go to large supermarkets such as Lidl or Carrefour to make the requested purchase. In addition to reducing local costs, it allows you to control a wider range of products.
This makes sense: larger purchases that can conquer an audience that makes the weekly purchase and not on time as Glovo’s business had been controlling to date.
“We see great potential in on-demand food purchases and both Lola Market and Mercadão are reference platforms in their countries of origin. By adding the two marketplaces, we will be able to build even stronger relationships with the establishments with which we collaborate and offer a more complete service. Both purchases represent a great advance for us because we will be able to serve all types and moments of purchases in the food segment “, he points out Oscar Pierre, CEO and Co-founder of Glovor in a statement.
Lola Market, a classic in the online shopping sector
Lola Market is not new to the business of online shopping through Personal Shopper. The company founded by Luis Pérez del Val has been operating in the sector since 2015. Long before Glovo stood out and understood that online shopping was a complementary mine to that of food at home.
Lola Market and Comprea, rivals until in 2018 the first acquired the second, saw the business opportunity long before others. Javier de la Llave, founder of Comprea, explained to Hypertextual that when in 2014 only 1% of purchases were from the online world, the future business was clear. In fact, de la Llave always insisted on one fact: despite the success he began to achieve through Comprea, his business was never a hit. For many years each euro was stretched to the impossible to keep going as best it could.
After that, the rest is the history of entrepreneurship in Spain. When both companies signed their agreement back in 2018, the moment of the integration of both companies arrived. Some that now, in 2021, finally join the undisputed giant of the online shopping sector: Glovo.
Glovo and the rider strikes in Barcelona
While Glovo closes the purchase of Lola Market on the one hand, the company continues to grapple with the riders of supermarkets in Barcelona. Independent of the food delivery people, this group started a pioneering strike in the sector. One that, for the moment, remains paralyzed before the negotiations that Glovo maintains with the own riders.
The group sought to move from its contracts with one of Job and Talent’s ETT subsidiaries to permanent ones directly with Glovo. At the moment, and according to sources close to the negotiations, these contracts are materializing. Slowly. Thanks to the two-day break and after the strike convened with the collaboration of CC.OO., “There are still many of us without a contract but apparently they are going to hire in batches on a weekly basis“, they explain to Hypertextual. On the other hand, they are also in the process of analyzing the contracts that have been offered to this group, because despite having achieved something, they understand that there is still much to do.
As for the problems with the contracts, and as explained by several of those affected, the first of them lies in the fact of being under the trade agreement when it would have to be under the road food transport agreement. This, they say, means that Glovo does not have the requirement to put a vehicle (if it breaks down, the rider must replace it in 24 hours), mobile, maintenance, as well as the obligation to maintain labor exclusivity. They also add that reductions in working hours have been implemented with kilometers above normal.
How many contracts have already been closed? Carmen Juarez Llar, spokesperson for CC.OO. in Barcelona, he did not want to make estimates of how many contracts had been closed so far. “The objective is 100%, but we understand that they come little by little and first to those who are going to conclude the temporary contract they have,” he explains to Hypertextual. From various groups of riders, confirm that at least 25% of the almost 350 current distributors already have a model associated with Glovo. Few in their opinion, however, are already enough to manage 100% the fleet of one of the company’s premises. Since September 9, the local Consell de Cent 133 is already fully operational with riders hired by the company directly.
Now, and with the union of Lola Market, it will be necessary to see how the activity of the company’s so-called Personal Shopper is managed under the new Glovo work model.