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Blinkit permanently shut down a few dark shops amid delivery strikes.

Zomato-owned fast-trade company Blinkit has told delivery workers, who are on strike against low wages, that some of its dark shops in Gurugram will closing permanently.

“Dear Partner in Blinkit, We value the service you provide to clients from your store. Despite many discussions, none of you have been working at the shop for the past three to four days. Because of this, the business must permanently close this store.

“Since this store will be closing permanently, we are disabling all your IDs. For any issues, you can raise a support ticket.”

We have seen two screenshots of such messages for Gurugram’s Sector 43 ES32 and South City 1 ES30 stores. Although drivers said more of these stores are closing permanently, we were unable to determine the exact number.

Only a few of the 31 dark shops serving Blinkit in Gurugram are currently operational with the protection of local police and security guards deployed by the company, a union leader said last week.

Unlike food delivery, where delivery executives may have to take orders from multiple restaurants spread across a city, the express trade model relies on temporary workers assigned to a specific dark shop in a neighborhood from where delivery is makes.

Around 2,500 Blinkit couriers in Gurugram have been on strike since last week after the company reduced the fixed delivery payment from Rs 25 to Rs 15. More workers are on strike in Delhi and Noida to protest against the move.

We have sent an inquiry to Zomato and Blinkit regarding the same. We will update the article with your feedback when it is receive.

According to an industry official, the way the hyperlocal delivery sector works is to reduce the delivery fees paid to commuters when the order volume in an area increases.

Companies give a rough estimate that a delivery person in one of the major metropolitan areas earns around Rs 15,000 per month. This calculation is again based on the assumption that the gig worker is online for 10-12 hours per day for 26-27 days per month.

“When total orders for rigs in a region increase, as the number of deliveries per employee increases, companies want to make their orders more profitable,” the industry executive told us.

As per a reliable source, Blinkit is all set to introduce its new rate cards across all dark stores in every city it operates in. While a timeline for the release has yet to confirming, the source suggests that Blinkit is actively working to bring the change to its entire Dark Store network. The move is in line with Blinkit’s commitment to providing a transparent and reliable delivery service while offering competitive pricing to customers.

With this new initiative, Blinkit aims to optimize its pricing structure and ensure consistency across all its dark stores, ultimately improving customer experience and cementing its position as a leader in the eCommerce delivery space.

Several couriers said Blinkit used to pay Rs 50 per order to its first batch of couriers last year and Rs 25 per order to those they joined a few months ago. Apart from payment per order, there used to be incentives based on fuel and delivery volume, which could go up to Rs 1,400 per week in some cases. The protesting workers are also upset that these incentives have phase out.

According to the company’s BSE filing, Blinkit booked orders worth Rs 3.2 crore for a revenue of Rs 301 crore in the December quarter, while it suffered an adjusted EBITDA loss of Rs 227 crore.

The company, earlier known as Grofers, was acquire by food delivery company Zomato in a deal worth Rs 4,447 crore in June last year.

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