Gopuff desires to open San Francisco retailer

Gopuff, the fast-growing delivery service for beer, snacks, and essentials, is now adding brick-and-mortar stores as it wades further into in-person retail.

The Philadelphia-based company plans to open a retail store in San Francisco, selling a wide range of items that include ice cream and COVID-19 testing kits, according to an application submitted to the city’s Planning Commission. The 12,000-square-foot site would help the firm fulfill online orders, too.

Gopuff already has storefronts open in Florida and Texas, according to the company. It also owns more than 160 BevMo! Stores after buying the California liquor delivery service last year. The company is exploring a retail experience to complement its online deliveries in a handful of markets, but won’t disclose locations.

The delivery start-up, founded by a pair of Drexel University students, has expanded across the United States and Europe over the last year, fueled by a surge in online shopping during the pandemic. Based on North Third Street just north of Spring Garden Street, it now sports a valuation of $15 billion and offers its roughly 30-minute deliveries in more than 1,000 cities.

Many retail companies have concluded that they need to serve both in-store and online customers. Grocery stores have also added home delivery and curbside pickup services, while e-commerce giant Amazon now has brick-and-mortar stores in its portfolio, including groceries in the Philadelphia region.

The proposed Gopuff store in San Francisco, first reported by the San Francisco Business Times, would operate at 3535 Geary Blvd., close to the University of San Francisco. It will likely be open between 9 am and 6 pm for in-store sales, according to the application.

For online sales, no more than five employees would prepare items for delivery drivers, who are independent contractors. Gopuff anticipates 50 to 100 deliveries a day from the site, with the heaviest volumes on Friday and Saturday evenings.

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