Zapp to pull out of the Netherlands?

In response to the City of Amsterdam’s proposals to restrict the opening of new dark stores, UK fast delivery company Zapp has announced plans to leave the Netherlands.

UK based Zapp recently raised $300 million in VC funding, but has taken the decision to consult with employees and unions over a potential exit from the the Netherlands in response to a decision made by Amsterdam’s city council to put a freeze on new dark stores. The council has done this citing noise and scooter traffic.

Further, the council is consulting on only permitting dark stores to be industrial units, which Zapp says will make fast delivery difficult as it won’t be able to reach as many residential areas.

Currently, Zapp operates in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. “We remain incredibly frustrated by the lack of genuine engagement by the Amsterdam municipality over many months and the forced closure of two of our flagship Zappstores,” says Steve O’Hear, VP of strategy at Zapp.

“We have always sought to have a constructive dialogue with the City of Amsterdam and collaborate with all stakeholders to learn and improve on the way rapid delivery can meet the needs of neighbours and customers alike,” says O’Hear.  

“Our proposed exit now puts hundreds of jobs at risk and we are truly sorry for the impact it will have on our employees and loyal customers.”

Any decision to leave the Netherlands will take place next month, and in the meantime Zapp has launched a legal challenge to the decisions made by Amsterdam’s council.

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