a iFood It is expanding its focus on convenience stores and an enhanced financial services rack for restaurants, in an effort to take advantage of new business opportunities that have emerged since last year with the effects of Covid-19.
The attack comes about a year after the nation’s largest meal delivery app began offering supermarket products, as isolation measures taken to contain the epidemic have boosted digital trade in the country.
Therefore, iFood quickly entered the comfort segment, a plan initially planned this year. Now, with around 5,000 supermarkets and convenience stores spread across 300 cities, the company expects to double that number by eight in the next 12 months.
“We’ve already seen supermarkets vertically for the natural expansion of the business,” Diego Barreto, vice president of strategy and finance at iFood, told Reuters. He added that the epidemic led to an acceleration of this matter, noting that the total deliveries made by the company last month amounted to 60 million, double what was delivered in the same month in 2020.
E-commerce companies have launched a vigorous attack on the Brazilian supermarket sector since last year, as they seek to increase the frequency of use of their applications, after massive campaigns to form bases for tens of millions of users.
Consequently, the segment where internet sales account for only 5% of the total in the country has become a priority target for Mercado Livre, Magazine Luiza and B2W, not to mention the moves by the supermarket chains themselves, such as GPA and Carrefour Brasil.
The supermarket attack is also a way for iFood to try to maintain its pace of growth, as it is under attack by competitors, such as Magazine Luiza and B2W, which have entered the meal delivery sector. This is not to mention that global competitors are expected to enter in a short time.
“We expect three to five international companies to deliver meals to Brazil within the next twelve months,” Barreto said, without naming them.
One way to seek to strengthen itself in the sector this year is to expand the financial relationship with iFood’s customer restaurants. Currently, the company already provides payment services to around 100,000 of the 250,000 restaurants it serves.
One of the measures in this regard has been to expand the credit supply, either to the restaurants themselves or to their employees. According to Barreto, iFood has already loaned R $ 200 million. The goal is to reach 500 million this year.
In a way, the effects of the crisis, which halted classroom activities and reduced revenue for thousands of restaurants registered with iFood, have already expanded this financial relationship, as the company expanded initiatives such as anticipating interest-free receivables and lowering fees.
“We will continue what has been accomplished for a longer period of time until everything returns to normal, even if it affects our profitability,” the executive said.
In any case, Barreto believes that the market moment for meal delivery and supermarket items has still expanded rapidly in Brazil for several years, without the need for existing groups to defend their markets.
“We are still far from exhaustion,” he said.
The delivery apps sector, which is booming around the world, saw a meltdown last week, when the UK delivery app Deliveroo business fell by as much as 30% at its inception in the stock market, raising doubts in the market about whether the sector’s future remains impressive too. very.
But for Barreto, the Deliveroo setback mainly reflected investor concerns about managing Deliveroo, whose capital is divided into various classes of stocks, and regulatory issues in the UK itself.
“Other companies in our sector are doing very well on the stock exchange,” Barreto said. “Our business model is also very different.”
In any case, the executive said, iFood, which is controlled by the Brazilian firm Movile, has no plans to go public, despite the influx of IPOs seen in recent months that have included e-commerce firms such as Enjoei and Mosaico, the owners of the price comparison sites. “This is not something that exists within the company,” Barreto said.