Saved but not without damage. The grocery and home meal delivery platform Frichti, which was in receivership, has just been taken over by a French competitor, La Belle Vie, which has committed to maintain 168 of some 400 employees, said Wednesday the management of the buyer to AFP. "We keep the cuisine and the quality of Frichti's products that made it successful, but we are changing the delivery model: we do not have darkstores but one large warehouse," La Belle Vie co-founder Alban Wienkoop told AFP.
To do this, La Belle Vie has a kitchen laboratory in Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis) of 1300 m² and a Parisian warehouse of 4,700 m² "compliant with the PLU (local urban plan, Editor's note)", according to the takeover offer that AFP consulted. Last March, a very restrictive regulation had put a stop to players specializing in "quick commerce".
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The government had decreed that the "dark stores" - these premises where the products to be delivered are stored - were warehouses and not shops, paving the way for a regulation by the town halls of this activity, and even the closure of some sites. The German Flink and the Turkish Getir (Gorillas, Getir and Frichti) had then announced to leave the French market. Frichti, Gorillas and Getir had been placed in receivership before the Paris Commercial Court in March and the last two entities were subsequently liquidated.
Frichti posted sales of €69 million in 2022
La Belle Vie, created in 2015 by Paul Lê and Alban Wienkoop and which now employs 376 employees, relies on the "abandonment of the methods and model specific to quick commerce, which have shown their limits", according to the takeover offer. The French company, which has just signed two contracts with the Grande Épicerie de Paris (LVMH group), intends to expand Frichti's catalog, which would go from 1000,6 products available to 000,<>.
The buyers acquired Frichti for €30,000 and set aside €450,000 to take over the stocks. They also retain 14 of Frichti's 18 company restaurants. More than 160 employees will keep their jobs in Île-de-France but employees in Lille, Nantes, Bordeaux, Lyon, Aix-en-Provence, Grenoble and Toulouse will be laid off, i.e. about 200 people.
In 2022, Frichti's turnover amounted to 69 million euros, the buyers recalled in their offer. That of La Belle Vie amounted in 2022 to 42 million euros. At the end of June 2023, it reached €28 million, up 30% compared to the previous year.