Pick n Pay to buy online shopping start-up Bottles - TechCentral

Pick n Pay to buy online shopping start-up Bottles

South African retail giant Pick n Pay said on Tuesday that it is acquiring on-demand online grocery service Bottles.

The two companies formed a closer partnership following government’s decision earlier this year to ban alcohol sales during level-5 of the Covid-19 lockdown. This forced Bottles, which had focused on alcohol delivery, to pivot its business.

Bottles was launched in 2016 as South Africa’s first alcohol on-demand delivery app and first began working with Pick n Pay in 2018.

TechCentral podcast: Bottles app founders on how they pivoted in a crisis – and came out on top

Since its move into groceries on 31 March, the app has signed up 350 000 registered users, offering grocery deliveries in an average of 90 minutes, Pick n Pay said in a statement.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by November, the retailer said. Founding members Enrico Ferigolli and Vincent Viviers as well as key managers and staff will move across to Pick n Pay after the conclusion of the agreement. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

‘Surge in demand’

Pick n Pay CEO Richard Brasher said in the statement: “The past seven months have seen a surge in demand for online groceries in South Africa… 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.

“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.”

The acquisition of Bottles comes on the back of the successful launch by rival Checkers of online shopping app Sixty60, which has proved popular among consumers during the lockdown.  — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media

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