Wolt launches grocery delivery from new Market store in Tel Aviv

Finnish delivery giant opens first grocery store in Neve Tzedek neighborhood, as Israel joins 17 other countries where company operates food retail and delivery logistics

Ricky Ben-David is The Times of Israel’s Tech Israel editor and reporter.

Wolt workers shop for customers at the Wolt Market grocery store in Neve Zedek, in Tel Aviv, May 2022. (Shai Azeri/Wolt Israel)
Wolt workers shop for customers at the Wolt Market grocery store in Neve Zedek, in Tel Aviv, May 2022. (Shai Azeri/Wolt Israel)

Finnish delivery giant Wolt is expanding its footprint in Israel with a new venture that will include grocery deliveries, starting in Tel Aviv, in addition to nationwide food and goods deliveries.

Wolt officially opened its first dedicated grocery store called Wolt Market in the upscale Neve Tzedek neighborhood of Tel Aviv on Tuesday from which customers can order their groceries and have them delivered. The concept is similar to InstaCart’s grocery and delivery service in North America — if InstaCart had its own stores instead of sourcing from participating grocery retailers.

Tel Aviv is home to a number of successful grocery chains like AM:PM, Super Yuda, Victory, and a neighborhood branch of Rami Levy.

Wolt Market will operate for deliveries only — meaning individual customers cannot physically shop there — and will cover central Tel Aviv, the Israeli branch of the Finnish company said in an announcement Tuesday. The store will hold about 3,000 products including dairy goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, fresh bread and pastries, frozen products, alcohol and soft drinks, hygiene and cleaning products, infant formula and diapers. It will also offer “a variety of local and unique boutique products” that hope to address the demand for organic foods, the company said.

The Wolt Market delivery fee will be the same as the food delivery fee (about NIS 16 currently) “which is significantly lower than [other] supermarkets,” Wolt said. Pick-up at the store is also an option.

Wolt said it expects to open additional Wolt Market stores in Israel later this year, adding to the number of countries — 17 currently — where the company operates grocery retail and delivery logistics. Wolt Market branches worldwide number about 100. Wolt operates food and goods deliveries in 23 countries.

The Wolt Market grocery store in Neve Neve Tzedek, in Tel Aviv. May 2022. (Shai Azeri)

Wolt Israel CEO Lior Eshkol said in a statement that the grocery shopping experience “is facing huge changes.”

“Customers want quality, service, variety and immediacy, and we are proud to lead this consumer and technological revolution together with our partners,” she said.

Wolt Market operations will focus “on the quality and freshness of products along with instant customer satisfaction achieved through… [fast] delivery through our extensive courier system,” said Wolt Market Operations Manager Chen Kadussi.

Eshkol said grocery shopping will become “much more immediate and much more frequent, instead of the big weekly shopping. The technological and operational capabilities we have developed at Wolt Israel over the past three and a half years will allow us to provide customers with the shopping experiences they want.”

A delivery driver from the Wolt app leaves a pharmacy with rapid antigen tests for the coronavirus to deliver to a customer in Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, January 10, 2022. Wolt, the Finnish company that’s Israel’s most visible delivery company, says rapid antigen tests have become its most in-demand product as the omicron variant tears through the population and prompts the government to scramble policies. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Wolt began operating in Israel in 2018, expanding to 23 cities across the country. The service started in Tel Aviv with 26 restaurants, and today operates with over 2,500 businesses, including restaurants, convenience stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, florists, bookstores and other shops.

The service works with about 9,000 contracted delivery messengers in Israel.

Separately, Israel is home to a number of startups and companies offering retail tech, shopping tech, and delivery logistics. These include Trigo Vision, a computer vision startup that developed grab-and-go, checkout-free shopping technology; Bringg, a delivery logistics platform for enterprises; Fabric (formerly known as CommonSense Robotics), the developer of robotic micro-fulfillment facilities; and BionicHive, the developer of an automated warehouse solution based on a fleet of synchronized autonomous robots, which recently nabbed an investment from Amazon.

Jessica Steinberg contributed to this report.

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