Q-commerce logistical networks: A shift in digital retail towards "going dark"?


  • Pache Gilles


  • Battle of the deadline
  • Digitalization
  • Logistical network
  • Quick commerce
  • Retailing industry

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In recent years, the retail sector has entered a new phase in its digitalization process with the emergence of quick commerce (or Q-commerce). The model is based on a promise to deliver consumer products within a very short time, around 10 to 15 minutes after an online order via an application. To achieve this, an original logistical network has been set up in the heart of cities. It is based on dark stores where deliverymen on bicycles or scooters come to supply the last mile, after the orders have been prepared. This research note highlights how Q-commerce puts the "battle of the deadline" at the center of the analysis, which responds to a cult of urgency that continues to grow in Western countries. To win this battle, logistics is more essential than ever, but the form it is taking with dark stores is generating tensions, especially in Europe, which could lead to regulations that slow down this new phase of digitalization of the retailing industry.

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