How this new shopping app aims to revolutionize the local retail economy

How do you balance convenience shopping with sustainability and supporting the local retail economy? That was the problem that gave rise to Arive, the “Deliveroo” lifestyle app that connects customers with local stores via a fleet of cargo bikes that bring (local) stores to your door in 60 to 120 minutes.

“We need to change the way cities work, but at the same time keep the local business environment alive,” says co-founder Max Reeker. “Sustainability plays a big part in that discussion, but it’s also about how local stores can continue to exist because online is getting bigger and they don’t know how to fill in.”

“We give them access to an additional channel of customer acquisition and retention with a heightened operations network and a protected brand environment.”

Is that how it works. The Arive Connected Retail system allows partner stores to sell a selection of their inventory through the Arive platform, which is picked up in store and delivered to the end consumer by Arive couriers.

Although the app launched a year ago in Berlin, Germany, the idea was originally conceived in Paris during the pandemic lockdown. Co-founders Reeker and Linus Fries were studying at the city’s HEC business school. They were, by Reeker’s own admission, “heavy users of food delivery services” but also admirers of the car-free initiatives and lifestyle shopping environment of the Le Marais area where they lived.

Since its launch in Berlin, the Arive team has rolled out the app in Hamburg and Munich, securing $20 million in Serie A funding along the way.

The fourth city is Paris. The team tested the waters with a pop-up over the summer when it partnered with brands like L:A Bruket, Apple
and Barbara Sturm. A fashion partnership with the France-based global reselling platform followed community locker room coinciding with Paris Fashion Week in September, which featured covetable favorites from PradaCourrèges, Dior, Jacuqemus and Bottega Veneta.

Now, however, they are officially launched in the French capital where, as in Germany, the main product categories are fashion, beauty and wellness and home related, having the latter in gourmet food and beverage and technology.

Connected retailers currently being added on an ongoing basis include a boutique florist, ready-to-use cocktail emporium, plus a selection of the unique gift and jewelery shops the Le Marias area is known for, perfect for holiday gifts last minute.

Coming later this month is Paris’ Dover Street perfume market and a local branch of trendy French cashmere label Majestic Filatures with eco-yoga brand Huj, holistic beauty brand Holidermie, Assouline and more coming soon.

“We compare ourselves to a virtual main street,” says Reeker. “Instead of having a central warehouse at the other end of Europe, we call the city our warehouse.”

Store partner curation is determined from the perspective of the customer rather than the category and blends both luxury and mass market.

Over the course of the next few years, the goal is to roll out the model in new cities (London ranks high on the agenda), but in the short term, it’s about connecting more stores so the customer only sees one version of a product. that matches the backend. availability, acquire new customers, and grow the shopping experience with added social aspects like shared wish lists and gifting options.

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