Getir set to close its UK operations and focus on domestic Turkish market instead

Turkish grocery courier Getir has confirmed it will be exiting from its international markets, including the UK, to focus on its core business in Turkiye, which accounts for the bulk of its revenue.

Getir, which means “to bring” in Turkish, said that Western markets account for just 7% of its revenue, which has led to its decision to pull out.

The firm’s announcement follows months of speculation about its future, as it faced stiff competition from a host of better-established rivals, such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo, in the UK and elsewhere.

Getir enjoyed a meteoric rise since launching in Turkiye in 2015. At one point the firm was valued at nearly $12 billion, with new investment fuelling the start-up’s rapid expansion across Europe, where it created some 23,000 jobs in the process in just three years.

Emphasising its ability to deliver food and drink “ultra-fast” – “at your door in minutes” –  its army of purple and yellow clad couriers on similarly branded scooters and bikes could be seen zipping around London and other European capitals.

The business benefited from Covid lockdowns, which forced consumer habits to change, with home deliveries becoming the norm for many people. However, Getir failed to retain these customers in the post-lockdown era when shoppers returned to pre-Covid habits of shopping in store for their groceries.

In 2021, Getir announced its arrival in the UK through a major 3-year sponsorship deal with Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur, with its typographic logo appearing on the first team’s training kit and players taking part in Getir promotional clips, while also collaborating with British Turkish Cypriot chef Big Has (Hasan Semay).

Bizarrely, despite the massive exposure Getir received with its Spurs association, its service never extended to cover the club’s full North London geography and fan base, with deliveries going no further north than Palmers Green.

Yet by the time of its first anniversary in the UK, the Istanbul-headquartered business regarded itself a “market leader”, pointing to the fact it had created 4,000 permanent jobs across the UK, including London, Manchester, and Birmingham. At the time, the firm pledged to raise this to 10,000 jobs within a year.

However, reality bit in 2023 and Getir was forced to reverse its European growth plans by shedding over a tenth of its 23,000 strong workforce, while quitting Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal entirely.

The firm’s UK workforce is believed to have dropped to around 1,500 people, which includes warehouse staff, managers and riders.

Getir currently operates in six countries, but its presence will likely be scaled back further in the near future.

Issuing a short statement on Monday, the company thanked its international staff for their “hard work”:

“Getir has raised a new investment round, led by Mubadala and G Squared. Getir will utilise these funds to bolster its competitive position in its core food and grocery delivery businesses in Turkey.

“Getir expresses its sincere appreciation for the dedication and hard work of all its employees in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and the US”.


Main image, top, London, UK, 12 January 2022: mopeds belonging to the grocery delivery company Getir outside one of their fulfilment centres on an industrial estate in Clapham. Photo © Anna Watson/Alamy



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