Which shops have been replaced by dark kitchens and dark stores in Paris?

Apur unveiled a study on the development of dark kitchens and dark stores and the changes this entails on the commercial fabric in Paris. (©MAM / news Paris)

The development of dark kitchens and dark blindsmeaning kitchens and shops exclusively reserved for deliveryat Paris worries local residents and elected officials who are trying to find solutions to contain their expansion.

In February 2022, theParisian urban planning workshop (Apur) has published a study on the consequences of these new businesses on the Parisian fabric.

From pedestrian drive to dark stores

The ancestor of the dark store, the pedestrian drive, has existed in Paris since 2018. It allows customers to pick up an order made online. This is the group Crossroads which has the most pedestrian drive with more 80 stitches available in the capital against fifty for Casino. In this case, these are withdrawal points attached to a store.

E. Leclerc and Auchan have, for their part, developed solo pedestrian drives – with no store nearby – and have around ten and forty pick-up points respectively unrelated to a store.

These drives were mostly occupied by a trade or a commercial service such as bank branches, were allocated to medical activities or to establishments of restoration (traditional cuisine, fast food or bar-café). A significant number of premises now occupied by solo pedestrian drives were vacant.

Pedestrian drives therefore do not target a particular type of activity because the surfaces sought are not very large (less than 100 m² in general) and do not require any particular layout.

ApurParisian urban planning workshop

Dramatic increase in dark kitchens linked to Covid

While platforms like Deliveroo, Uber Eats or Frichti landed in Paris from 2013-2014, the first confinement gave a boost to their activity.

With the covid, the success of dark kitchens, often installed on the ground floor, has increased. “Depending on the case, some brands may have a physical restaurant in Paris and offer their dishes in a dark kitchen, which allows them to have a larger delivery area which complements that offered from their restaurants, ”explains Apur.

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Betting counts about thirty dark kitchens. They are often installed in shops on the ground floor that are not accessible to the public. Recently, Deliveroo moved into four towns in the suburbs: Bagneux and Courbevoie (Hauts-de-Seine) and Saint-Ouen and Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis). Its dark kitchens have been set up in large warehouses to “benefit from larger areas”, add the authors.

Rise of dark stores

The installation of the dark blinds was greatly aided by the confinements and the travel restrictions due to the health crisis.

In January 2022, Apur identified more than 80 dark blinds in Paris and the inner suburbs. They are particularly numerous in the 8th and 9th arrondissements, but especially in the 11th (six locations) and the 19th arrondissement (five dark stores).

According to the study, “the profitability economic is far from certain but “the objective
priority is to gain market share as quickly as possible” and to be present on the territory and in particular in the densest sectors.

In detail, unlike pedestrian drives who can count between 15,000 and 20,000 referencesa catalog of dark blinds only includes 1,500 to 2,000 references “since the products must be immediately accessible in order to be delivered within 10 minutes that follow “.

The premises now used by dark stores were once businesses: 11 supermarkets Where convenience storesfive furniture storesof them fashion storesthree restaurants. “About twenty offices in shops, that is to say former shops transformed more than 10 years ago into offices, have also been taken over by dark stores recently”, specifies Apur.

Former wholesale businesses, medical offices and car parks are also affected.

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