PRAGUE, Czech Republic, November 18, 2021 – Rohlik Group ("Rohlik") will launch its online grocery delivery services under the new Sezamo brand in Italy and Romania in the first half of 2022, also announcing Andrea Colombo as CEO for Italy. From spring 2022 onwards, close to 2.5 million households in Milan and Bucharest will have access to the Rohlik Group customer experience for the first time, with Italy to be its second-largest market after Germany. This will be followed by Sezamo also launching in Spain in the 2nd half of 2022. Operations are being launched after market analyses saw an increase in customer demand for online grocery delivery services.
Rohlik’s online grocery delivery service to be active in 7 countries by 2022
The European online grocery delivery service delivered its first order 7 years ago in Prague, Czech Republic and is now already available in 4 countries, delivering hundreds of thousands of products to customers every single day, which on some days can add up to over a million everyday supermarket items as well as locally sourced products and small farmer produce. Rohlik's passion for helping Europeans eat better and live happier lives will thus spread to Romania, Italy and Spain, with the goal of becoming the leading European online grocery retail player.
Touching on future expansion plans, Rohlik Group founder, Tomáš Čupr mentions: “A few weeks ago I signed a contract with our first fulfillment center in Spain. This means we will soon be in Madrid with even more countries to come. This comes on the back of impressive growth in all our new countries, case in point being Munich, where we recently broke the 1000 orders per day milestone in record time. Our business model of delivering high quality global and domestic brands as well as local produce is proving itself time and again. Coupled with a full assortment delivered in three hours or less is proving to be exactly what families need, as seen by high shopping frequencies and order values. Simply put, passionate customer-centricity equates to financial health and a happier Europe! Of course, the old habits of going to a grocery store die hard. For that reason, what we build at Rohlik has to be not just “better than the traditional way” of shopping, but ten times better. As we look to the future we want to continue to provide our amazing partners across the world with more revenue, continue to offer our staff interesting, flexible and well-paid work, and most importantly, deliver to our customers the very best possible online grocery delivery experience.”
“After having launched Rohlik Group operations in four countries under four different brand names, we will enter these new markets under the one Sezamo brand” reveals Rohlik Group Chief Marketing Officer Jakub Petřina, explaining: “All these countries use latin-based language and we wanted to continue with a "food word" as a brand. The sesame seed is popular in all cultures. Sezamo is based on ‘sesamo’ in Italian, ‘sesame’ in Romanian and in the future ‘sésamo’ in Spanish. The word ‘Sesame’ is also connected to the ‘Open Sesame’ magic phrase in ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’, maybe because its seed pod splits open when it is ripe... kind of like a treasure being unlocked. Of course, Rohlik, Kifli, Gurkerl and Knuspr remain as brands for Czechia, Hungary, Austria and Germany. And Rohlik, Kifli, Gurkerl, Knuspr as well as now Sezamo have lots of treasures inside waiting to be unlocked and delivered.
The expansion program could create up to THOUSANDS of new jobs in Milan and Bucharest
“Rohlik’s business model is proving to be successful time and time again across multiple markets, and it’s easy to get excited about a vision that makes sense, that’s about improving lives. With new markets opening up, we’re always looking for disruptors and game changers at Rohlik Group that share our sense of purpose, who are willing to accept challenges, try new things and rise to the occasion. And, we’re excited about how these new markets, cultures and colleagues will enrich us as a team,” explains Daniela Razimová, Chief People & Culture Officer at Rohlik Group, adding: “One can already find on our career website (career.rohlik.group) that we offer work in 7 countries, 7 cities and across 12 teams.”
Delivery within several hours from day 1
Sezamo in Romania and Italy will be able to deliver approximately 8.000 different items of fresh and quality food directly to customers' homes within 3 hours from day 1 in Italy and 2 hours from day 1 in Romania. At the heart of the complete range of products are fresh regional produce such as fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, dairy, and bakery products, along with international brands and Rohlik’s own private label products - in short, a better everyday alternative to supermarket shopping.
Online grocery giant Rohlik Group is also announcing the appointment of Andrea Colombo as its CEO for Sezamo in Italy. He will be a key driver of growth and the main culture builder, focusing on quality food, amazing customer service and rapid innovation. He has 30 years of experience within food and non-food retail and manufacturing sectors, domestically and internationally. Prior to Sezamo, he has spent the last five years establishing and building up among other things the new successfully superstore format in COOP Lombardia as their General Manager. Coop is one of the Italian leaders in retail with a market share of 18%. When asked about his personal biggest challenge and opportunity at Sezamo, he mentions: “attracting Italian customers to a different and better shopping experience.”
Expanding on his mission, he adds: “Speed of delivery, a complete range of high quality food products enriched with typical local food specialties, coupled with relentless excellence in execution underpinned by a true ethos of sustainability make for the perfect ingredients allowing us to differentiate ourselves from the competition. Online shopping with us will be fast, easy and immediate with a passionate approach to customer care. And of course, Rohlik's and Sezamo’s global credo and mission to "EAT WELL, LIVE WELL" fits perfectly into the Italian lifestyle.”
The warehouse is approx. 5,000 sqm in size and is ideally located located in via Fantoli within the C.A.M.M. Consorzio Autostazione Merci Milano, next to the “Mercato Agroalimentare Milano” (Ortomercato), the city’s agri-food hub. This location is highly strategic for Rohlik, given its distance of only 6 km from the city center and the close proximity to Milan’s Eastern Ringroad and Linate international airport.
Information on the launch of Sezamo in Italy can be found on the website: www.sezamo.it
A dedicated 10,000 sqm warehouse in CTPark Bucharest North will be customized to meet all the needs of Rohlík's vendors and customers, including dedicated storage spaces with controlled temperature (for freezing and refrigerating) for fresh fruit and vegetables, which will be delivered directly to consumers from local as well as international producers.
Michael Kaiser, Chief Commercial Officer in Romania adds: “Key to our launch plans was finding the right fulfilment centre location, which is accessible both to our customer delivery teams as well as suppliers. Next on the list is recruitment and training, ensuring all our staff appreciate how central the passion for customer service is to our vision of Europe eating and living well. The launch will give customers the opportunity to access same-day delivery for large baskets that can cover the full weekly shop.”
Information on the launch of Sezamo in Romania can be found on the website: www.sezamo.ro
In addition to expansion within the European market in 2022, the company expects to expand its reach within countries in which it currently operates:
- Knuspr.de to grow to Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Essen, Hannover, Stuttgart, Leipzig and other cities within two years.
- Rohlik.cz to up the ante of express delivery of purchases to within 60 minutes of ordering. This will be helped by a fourth, fully automated warehouse, to be opened in Chrášťany near Prague, the construction of which has already begun.
About Rohlik Group
Founded in 2014 in the Czech Republic, Rohlik Group is one of Europe's leading online grocery delivery services. Already active in the Czech Republic (Rohlik.cz), Hungary (Kifli.hu), Austria (Gurkerl.at) and Germany (Knuspr.de). Deploying world-leading technology & logistics to deliver a huge range of quality products (17 000 SKUs+), Rohlik companies offer a 15-minute delivery window with delivery as soon as within 90 minutes of placing an order in some countries. The Rohlik family is a data-driven company in everything they do. By owning its end-to-end operations, including having all technology in-house, Rohlik provides a superior customer experience and the freshest food from local farmers and artisans, as well as a broad supermarket selection. The company was funded with EUR 290 mil. this year and is profitable, dynamic and growing rapidly. Rohlik turnover exceeded €300 million in 2020.