Retail group Woolworths plans to rapidly expand its Woolies Dash service in the coming months as it sees deliveries as a key market in South Africa.
In a shareholder presentation on Wednesday (2 March), chief executive Roy Bagattini said the same-day delivery service is currently available at 30 stores across the country, but will be available at 50 stores by the Easter holiday period. This will be further expanded to around 100 stores by the end of the year, he said.
While Bagattini acknowledged that Woolies Dash had a slower and later start than its competitors, he stressed that the service offers a number of ‘key differentiators’ that help it stand apart.
This includes heavy skew towards delivering fresh groceries as opposed to the long-life products that are offered by some competitors. Bagattini said that Woolworths was also the only retailer to focus on a full cold-chain solution for its deliveries, meaning products arrive fresh and in the same condition as if someone is shopping in a store.
Bagattini added that more work needs to be done around these delivery systems in South Africa – as it is currently not particularly profitable or high-margin to pick 30 grocery items off a shelf and deliver them due to the logistics involved.
Woolworths also plans to consolidate its same-day, next-day and click-and-collect online stores into a single app going forward which will make it a lot more seamless for customers to shop online, he said.
This will allow customers to do a full monthly shop – which other retailers do not currently provide for.
Retail group Spar said it will launch an online shopping and delivery platform in selected Johannesburg stores towards the end of March 2022.
Dubbed SPAR2U, the e-commerce platform will deliver both groceries and liquor, with the service already being piloted in some stores. This platform will be available in a group of stores in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg by the end of March 2022, the group said in a financial statement in February.
Pick n Pay and Checkers already offer same-day delivery services, with both retailers seeing significant uptake due to the Covid-19 pandemic and an increased desire from customers to shop at home.
Checkers’ Sixty60 one-hour on-demand grocery delivery service launched in late 2019, just prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020.
Pick n pay acquired the Bottles app in October 2020, rebranding it to asap! in 2021.
Read: Woolworths reports massive increase in online food sales, but flags rising prices