Pick n Pay concluded an agreement to purchase delivery startup Bottles

Pick n Pay and other retailers have been grappling with a surge in online sales due to Covid-19 and its prior one-hour liquor delivery partnership with Bottles has recently been shifted into a same-day essential grocery service.

Retail group Pick n Pay has agreed to buy online delivery app Bottles, which launched as SA’s first alcohol delivery app and has recently branched out into groceries. Bottles app was launched in 2016 as SA’s first alcohol on-demand delivery app and partnered with Pick n Pay in 2018.

After the prohibition on the sale of alcohol in March, Bottles repurposed its app within four days, emerging with a new offer to deliver on-demand “Grocery Essentials” to customers. The service offers more than 7,000 products at store prices, with an average delivery time of 90 minutes, Pick n Pay said. Since its move to groceries on March 31, the app has had more than 700,000 downloads, with more than 350,000 registered users.

The acquisition was expected to be completed in November, Pick n Pay said. Details on the acquisition cost were not provided.

“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. Our sales growth has more than doubled, and we have seen a 200 per cent increase in active customers,” Pick n Pay chief executive officer (CEO) Richard Brasher said.

“In partnership with Bottles, we were able to introduce an on-demand grocery delivery service less than a week after the start of the lockdown. The Grocery Essentials offer has been hugely popular with customers, building on Bottles’s achievement as the best-rated app by customers in the sector.”

“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 Bottles’s agility, innovation and marketing flair across our platform,” Brasher said.

“Our aim is to have a business which customers can access anytime, anywhere and from any place. We already have two large online depots, and a home-delivery and click-and-collect network comprising over 150 stores. Bringing Bottles into Pick n Pay will give us another edge, and enable us to offer more services and more flexibility to customers in this rapidly growing area.”


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