Gopuff, the Philadelphia-based delivery service, wants to open a store in Ardmore as the company wades further into brick-and-mortar retail, Lower Merion Township officials said.
The fast-growing start-up intends to turn a former Mapes hardware store at 71 Rittenhouse Place into a location serving walk-in customers and online orders, according to Lower Merion officials.
“Our understanding is that it will be a delivery and retail location, and not just a delivery location like they have at other places,” said township spokesperson Lori Jennings.
Gopuff has leased the building and is exploring opportunities for the site, according to the company, which declined to share details about the project. The lot is 23,700 square feet, according to Montgomery County property records.
The start-up — founded by a pair of Drexel University students — now delivers beer, snacks, and toiletries in more than 1,000 cities. The firm has expanded across the United States and Europe and more than tripled its valuation to $15 billion since last year.
Gopuff has not said much publicly about in-store retail, but it has been busy. It bought California-based BevMo! and Liquor Barn in Kentucky, gaining more than 180 locations across the U.S. and experienced retail operators. The company said it already has storefronts open in Florida and Texas, and plans to open one in San Francisco.
Many retail companies have concluded that they need to serve both in-store and online customers. Grocery stores have added home delivery and curbside pickup services, while e-commerce giant Amazon now has brick-and-mortar stores in its portfolio, including grocery stores in the Philadelphia region.
Although it’s unclear what an Ardmore store would look like, the proposal in San Francisco may offer some clues. Gopuff’s application to the San Francisco Planning Commission said that store would likely be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for in-store sales, while operating up to 24 hours a day for fulfill online orders. A handful of employees there would also prepare items for delivery drivers, who are independent contractors.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the typical lot size for a Wawa store. Wawa prefers lots that are about two acres, several times larger than the Ardmore lot where Gopuff plans to open a store.