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Milkrun sorry for ‘unacceptable’ delays as startups feel the squeeze

“Valued customers” of Milkrun have received an email with a message from CEO and founder Dany Milham, apologising for some “unacceptable declines” in the business’ offerings.

The email comes at a time when instant delivery services with similar business models are experiencing significant challenges, and in some cases ceasing operations.

Last month, Send – which was founded in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic – collapsed into voluntary administration.

Send offered grocery deliveries in under 10 minutes to 46,000 registered users, and had secured a $3.1 million capital raise in August 2021, before meeting its unfortunate fate.

Even more recently, Voly reportedly halved its office staff just this week, jettisoned its promise of 15-minute deliveries, and closed warehouses in four inner-Sydney suburbs.

Speaking to SmartCompany about Voly’s demise, Queensland University of Technology retail and consumer behaviour researcher Professor Gary Mortimer said instant grocery delivery services are now operating in a very different environment to when they first sprung up.

The end of Covid-19 restrictions and a return to “normalcy” will challenge said startups, Mortimer said.

Yet despite the turbulence facing the industry, Milham remained optimistic, saying thanks to Milkrun’s customers:

“Firstly, thank you for being one of our valued customers at Milkrun. We appreciate you more than you know.

“I feel so fortunate to lead such a fantastic and energetic team who are focused on delivering you and your family thousands of your favourite supermarket products and fresh produce within minutes.”

However, Milham then goes on to apologise for the decline in Milkrun’s delivery experience during busy periods.

The “number of factors” which contributed to these delays include “ongoing Covid cases affecting the availability of riders and hub staff, record rainfall in Sydney, and the challenges involved with scaling a fully employed workforce faster than anyone has ever tried before”.

Milham assures customers there are no excuses, and says he is “committed to ensuring we make good on our promise and continue to deliver the best experience you’ve ever had”.

He also says Milkrun won’t face the same fate as its competitors, writing:

“Just so you know it’s not all bad, in just ten months, we’ve changed how Aussies buy groceries and created a mindblowing experience that no one thought was possible.”

Milham ends the email with an announcement of new initiatives the company has committed to, in order to ensure it “delivers on its commitment” on what a “best-in-class experience looks like”.

These initiatives include:

  • Opening new hub locations in areas it already serves to “elevate the customer experience and reduce the delivery time and distance”.
  • Hiring more riders and hub staff to meet demand.
  • Working with suppliers to have the “freshest produce available”.
  • Ensuring it keeps its price and impact on the environment “as low as possible”.

But will these initiatives and its $75 million capital raise from January be enough to keep Milkrun from going spoiled?

Time will tell.

The story was originally published on Smart Company.

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