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Getir to exit UK, Europe and US

Grocery delivery firm Getir has said it will be leaving the UK, Europe and the US to focus on its core market in Turkey where it generates the bulk of its revenue.

It comes after a long period of speculation that its UK operations were in financial trouble.

The firm said only 7% of its revenue was generated in those markets which it is now leaving.

It brings to an end the company’s rapid expansion across Europe, which saw almost 23,000 jobs created in the region over three years.

Getir added that it sees the biggest potential for long-term growth in its home market of Turkey.

Since its entry into the UK in 2021, Getir had grown to become a multi-billion pound food delivery firm in just a few years.

With its distinctive purple and yellow logo, the company, like many delivery services, grew after Covid lockdowns changed shopping habits and many people avoided in-person shopping. Its unique selling point was that it was “ultra fast”, delivering food and drink on scooters in under 20 minutes.

Getir confirmed that FreshDirect, its US subsidiary, will continue its operations. It added that it had raised investment from Mubadala – an Abu Dhabi investment fund – and US company G Squared to fund its exit from the Western market.

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

In 2022, as Getir celebrated its first anniversary in the UK, it hailed its first year as a “blockbuster”, calling itself a “market leader” that had created 4,000 permanent jobs in cities including London, Manchester, Portsmouth and Birmingham. At the time, it also pledged to create 10,000 jobs by the end of 2022.

But by 2023, the firm had to climb down from its rapid European expansion, announcing that it was cutting more than a tenth of its workforce, which then stood at 23,000 staff across Europe.

Those cutbacks came after the company had already quit Italy, Spain, France and Portugal, had auctioned off much of its equipment in the UK, and was hit by shoppers returning to bricks-and-mortar stores.

Part of its problems came from regulatory changes. In France, inner-city depots holding stock were ordered to be closed down, while Amsterdam and Rotterdam banned the opening of any new ones. Known as “dark stores”, the buildings were accused by local residents of having constant noise with couriers coming in and out at all hours.

Meanwhile in New York, the city council’s Gale Brewer said ultra-fast delivery apps, such as Getir, Flink and Gorillas, were “misusing” empty city-centre retail units.