A Whole New DoorDash?
6/28: GNC + Zipline, Domino's EVs, Yellow stock in freefall
Don’t let DoorDash’s huge news distract you from some other pivotal developments in the world of delivery, including two iconic brands rolling out inventive new ways to transport pizza and creatine (but hopefully not at the same time.)
DoorDash’s Biggest Update Ever
Domino’s Adds More Pizza Delivery EVs
Chart Time | Yellow in the Red
GNC Takes Flight with Zipline
3PD | DoorDash To Offer Hourly Pay, New App Features
DoorDash rolled out the biggest changes in the company’s decade of existence, dramatically reshaping how the delivery app works for consumers, merchants and gig workers alike. For consumers, updates include no-brainers like universal search, multiple shopping carts, and SNAP / EBT payments. For merchants the biggest improvements look to be more first-party ordering tools, plus a loyalty / rewards program that’s gunning for Square and Toast.
Context: The biggest changes are happening on the driver side, as Dashers now have the option to work on an “earn by time” model. Instead of getting paid per completed offer, workers can opt to make a minimum wage (between $10 and $19.50/hr, depending on location) plus tip - how quaint! Another feature “Dash Along the Way” - lets drivers pick a direction they want to head for work, making it more appealing to work for DoorDash on the side. Overall these speak to the gig economy’s battle with worker attrition. The apps may have largely won the post-AB5 war, but a continuously tight labor market means they need to do more to keep dedicated gig workers happy, and make it even easier for less-dedicated workers to throw an hour or two of work towards the platform.
VEHICLES | 1,100 Pizza-Loving Chevy Bolts
Domino’s turned heads last year when it announced it was rolling out a fleet of Chevy Bolts, partially electrifying the delivery fleet of both its owned and franchised locations. While the initial 3-digit rollout felt a bit more like a marketing stunt than a true commitment, the company today announced it was expanding the program: showing that the reduced operations and maintenance costs of EVs make a lot of sense for urban deliveries.
Context: While DPZ is increasing its Model Year 2023 fleet size to 1,100, the big question is what happens in 2024? Chevrolet has unfortunately axed the Bolt — despite record sales — as it would rather make larger cars that are both more profitable and less sustainable. It’s not going to make sense to move even the deepest of dished pizzas in an EV Hummer; perhaps Domino’s will look to electrified Mini Coopers, or even a more specialized vehicle like an Arcimoto or delivery bot?
CHART TIME | Yellow’s Sinking Fortunes
LTL (less than truckload) carrier Yellow Corp is looking particularly jaundiced, as the company’s stock price sunk below delisting territory. The company has been trying to restructure its logistics network and work rules for months — seemingly driving away customers. With just a few weeks of cash left on hand, things aren’t looking good for the second most iconic color in delivery (a recent fight with the DOD didn’t help either.) To misquote the hit 311 song, “amber is the color of your bankruptcy.” 🎵
AUTOMATION | Air Creatine?
Vitamin and supplement retailer GNC announced a new partnership with Zipline, the autonomous drone delivery startup. The tie-up launches this summer, starting in the suburbs of Salt Lake City. While we personally can’t imagine needing “Mother Bucker™ Nootropic Pre-Workout - Miami - 20 Servings” instantly delivered, evidently someone out there does (plan your workout in advance, bro!)
Context: Zipline started out delivering time-critical items in locales with little infrastructure — think health supplies in impoverished nations. In the past few years, it’s branched out to offer instant delivery for brands like Walmart and Sweetgreen, although the coverage area is still limited, despite the company’s Part 135 certification. As GNC claims this is part of the “reinvention of its retail roadmap” it sounds like the company is still struggling to find a path forward after its pandemic-era bankruptcy.
A Few Good Links
That’s hot - Taco Bell reintroduces 2000’s era ad campaign. Post Cava IPO, expect to see more moves like this. Innoviz and LOXO deploy new delivery-oriented Lidar solution. South Korea’s CJ Logistics plans two U.S. distribution mega centers. Video: Cheeky delivery worker snags slice of pizza, reshapes remaining pie, reseals box. (It’s called quality assurance!)
Got a tip, feedback, or just want to say hi? Reply back to this email.