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Blinkit Aims to Expand Dark Stores Despite Zomato's Losses

Amid Zomato’s Zooming Losses, Blinkit Targets Scaling Dark Stores By 40% Over a Year

15 February 2023


Jayashri Ghorpade

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  • Several new 'high potential neighbourhoods' have already been identified by the startup in both existing and new cities.

  • The startup plans to proceed only when it is confident in providing a great customer experience in a high-potential location.

  • The q-commerce major currently operates over 400 dark stores.

According to CEO Albinder Dhindsa, the quick commerce platform Blinkit aims to increase its dark store count by up to 40% over the next 12 months. “Currently, we believe that we can comfortably grow our dark store count by ~30-40% over the next 12 months. This will also depend on our ability to find the best and most cost effective locations for these stores,” said Dhindsa in a letter to shareholders.

The startup has identified new high-potential neighborhoods to increase the number of micro-fulfillment centers in both new and existing cities. However, the CEO said they would proceed only when they feel confident of providing a great customer experience. The q-commerce platform is considering opening dark stores based on system-generated data, management bandwidth, and time to supply creation.

Blinkit presently operates over 400 dark stores, and interestingly, no new dark stores were opened in Q3 FY23. About half of Blinkit's stores in Q2 FY23 are operated in partnership with local franchise partners, with fulfilment centers ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 sq. ft. and involving a capital expenditure of nearly INR 20-30 Lakhs.

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Despite no expansion in its dark store network, Blinkit increased the gross order value (GOV) per dark store in Q3 FY23 by streamlining operations. This comes a week after foodtech major Zomato, Blinkit's parent company, reported a 70% YoY increase in consolidated net loss to INR 346.6 Cr in Q3 FY23.

Zomato had a mixed quarter, but Blinkit, which was acquired by Zomato last year, showed improvement in most key operational and financial metrics. In Q3 FY23, the q-commerce vertical contributed INR 301 Cr to Zomato’s kitty, while GOV rose 18% YoY to INR 1,749 Cr. Due to poor performance in around 225 smaller cities, Zomato pulled out from them. As a result, Zomato's shares closed 2.7% lower at INR 50.40 on the BSE on Tuesday.    

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