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  • Hugo Walker

Bodo to expand in London and beyond

The dark store startup has its sights set on strengthening its existing presence in London as well as expanding into the US

Bodo, the London-headquartered dark store startup, has revealed plans to significantly expand: firstly in London with the opening of its third warehouse and a set of micro-fulfilment centres, and secondly into the US, with plans to open warehouses in New York and along the east coast.

The dark store operates by holding e-commerce brands’ stock, which they then deliver across London with their rapid delivery offering. Alongside their dotcom centres, Bodo integrates e-commerce tech with leading platforms such as Salesforce and Shopify included as a plug-in in their services.

The brands — with the likes of Trip CBD, Beavertown, Lucky Saint alcohol-free beer and Au Vodka using the service — are charged a platform fee for access to the e-commerce tech and to have their stock held, as well as an additional fee per order.

As Jack Green, co-founder of Bodo explains, “You can think of Bodo as Amazon Prime for direct-to-consumer brands. E-commerce brands spend so much time and effort building their native channel, Bodo allows them to offer a rapid, sustainable delivery experience without sacrificing crucial customer data and control to Amazon or an equivalent marketplace.”

Bodo completed a seed round of $2.3m last month, establishing itself strongly in the dark store start-up ecosystem with significant financial backing.

Mr Green commented about his plans for Bodo’s ambitious but tactful expansion across London. “You don’t need as many warehouses as previously thought. London’s very dense. Looking at other businesses using micro-fulfillment centres, sometimes they were serving areas very inefficiently. We’re looking to cover the really dense areas of London and then grow sustainably.”

Bodo is looking to establish "a handful not hundreds" of micro-fulfillment sites. “We’re not looking to blanket the city to cover everyone in 10 minutes, it’s just not part of our business model,” Mr Green added.

Co-founder, Brandon Neman, spoke about the strategic positioning of Bodo’s potential sites: “Our customers tell us where they want us to position our real estate, and where their customers are. Which is helpful versus guessing where people are going to be ordering products. That’s the best telltale on where we’ll expand to.”


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