SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s supermarket chain Pick n Pay has concluded an agreement to buy on-demand online delivery app Bottles to strengthen its e-commerce operations.
Bottles, which has recently branched out into on-demand grocery essentials delivery, was launched in 2016 as South Africa’s first on-demand alcohol delivery app and partnered with Pick n Pay in 2018.
The repurposing of it services happened earlier this year in March after a prohibition on alcohol sales was introduced in the country to combat the spread of Covid-19.
“We are delighted to be acquiring Bottles. It will enable us to build on the tremendous momentum we have achieved by integrating the Bottles business into our existing online offer, and applying its agility, innovation and marketing flair across our platform.”Pick n Pay Chief Executive Officer – Richard Brasher
Since pivoting to groceries, the app has achieved more than 700,000 downloads with more than 350,000 registered users, bolstered by an unprecedented surge in online shopping during the pandemic, reports Money Web.
The service offers in excess of 7,000 products at store prices, with an average delivery time of 90 minutes.
“The past seven months have seen a surge in demand for online groceries in South Africa. Together with our franchise partners, we have responded by expanding the number of stores which deliver or offer click and collect services,” Pick n Pay chief executive officer Richard Brasher said.
“We are therefore delighted to be acquiring Bottles. It will enable us to build on the tremendous momentum we have achieved by integrating the Bottles business into our existing online offer, and applying its agility, innovation and marketing flair across our platform,” Brasher added.
The acquisition is expected to be completed by November this year with Bottles founding members Enrico Ferigolli and Vincent Viviers, key managers and staff then moving across to the supermarket giant.
The retailer has however not divulged the value of the deal.
Pick n Pay to enter Nigerian market
Meanwhile, Pick n Pay has revealed plans of opening its first store in Nigeria through a partnership with Nigerian business A.G. Leventis, in an effort to tap the West African nation’s “underserved” consumer market.
The push into Nigeria comes as retailers including grocery giant Shoprite Holdings and Mr Price are withdrawing because of currency devaluations, logistical challenges and difficulties repatriating profits.
But Pick n Pay still finds the risky market attractive and is confident of success, a company executive told Reuters.
“The appeal is that it is a hugely underserved consumer market and is going to grow. You have to look through the short term and into the long-term potential,” said David North, group executive for strategy and corporate affairs.
North said that Pick n Pay’s expansion strategy in Nigeria will differ from other South African retailers that opened flagship stores in the large shopping centres.
Pick n Pay will instead focus on smaller neighbourhood stores, with partner A.G. Leventis providing “the local know-how, the understanding of the regulatory process and the local stakeholders”, North said.
Pick n Pay partners with Mastercard in food donation drive
To commemorate World Food Day on 16th October, the retailer partnered with Mastercard and FoodForward SA to launch a “Click to Feed” initiative that enables its cardholders to donate meals to those who need it the most.
The initiative running until 31 December 2020, will enable Pick n Pay customers purchasing their goods on its online shop using their Mastercard, donate 30 meals per transaction.
The donated meals will be distributed to more than 1,000 beneficiary organisations across South Africa by FoodForward SA, a non-profit organisation focusing on combating hunger.
The initiative builds on the ‘Tap to Feed’ campaign which saw the parties in 2018 donate over 1.5 million meals.
“This year, we aim to have greater impact and donate two million meals to support South Africa’s recovery from the devasting economic and health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Suzanne Morel, country manager at Mastercard, South Africa.
“This is a priceless cause we know many people hold close to their hearts, and together, we can do more to be a force for good and make a real difference in people’s lives.”
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