PnP expands on-demand delivery following Bottles acquisition

Bottles – the on-demand delivery app recently acquired by Pick n Pay (PnP) – has now been integrated into the JSE-listed retail giant’s online offering, which means customers can expect a wider range of products on the app, extended delivery hours, no additional service fee, and expanded coverage for the same-day delivery service.

This was confirmed in a statement on Tuesday, with PnP adding that customers would now “only pay the delivery fee of R35” for ordering via the app.


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The delivery fee is the same as that of the hugely successful Checkers Sixty60 service, launched by Shoprite Group last year for its upper market Checkers retail chain.

PnP was a forerunner in expanding into online grocery retail in South Africa years ago. However, Checkers Sixty60 has disrupted the local market over the past year with its “delivery within 60 minutes” grocery service, stealing a march on competitors including PnP, Woolworths and Massmart’s Game and Makro chains.

In fact, Woolworths is also planning to take on its rivals in the booming on-demand food and grocery delivery space, with the group teasing consumers last month in a tweet about the imminent launch of its ‘Woolies Dash’ service.

No official launch date has been announced by Woolworths and the group has remained mum about the new service since posting the tweet. Woolies Dash will likely hit the market early next year. Woolworths has a strong online shopping offering, but has struggled with same-day deliveries.

Online shopping for all major traditional retailers, as well as ‘pure play’ competitors like Takealot, has seen huge growth this year due largely to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, most take a minimum of a day or two to deliver, while some deliveries can take up to a week.

PnP’s acquisition of Bottles, for an undisclosed amount, was first announced in October.

“Bottles is a South African success story of two friends who managed to grow their business by nearly 800% during lockdown,” PnP noted in its statement on Tuesday.

It said the growth had occurred with Bottles “pivoting from liquor on-demand deliveries to same-day grocery deliveries with PnP”.

User thumbs-up

The move led to more than 700 000 downloads of the app and saw Bottles become the highest-rated grocery and liquor on-demand app by users in South Africa.

“Following the announcement in October that PnP would acquire Bottles … the company has officially come on board as the on-demand service of PnP Online. This allows customers to get their online grocery and liquor order delivered within as little as 60 minutes,” the group said.

PnP said Bottles founding members Enrico Ferigolli and Vincent Viviers as well as key managers and staff have moved across to PnP Online.

It said the online division will leverage Bottles’ agility and innovation to further scale PnP Online.

“This offering adds to the retailer’s two other successful services – an online scheduled delivery service, and Click n Collect,” the group added.

“Customers can now shop over 30 000 products via PnP’s online shop and over 8 000 products on the Bottles app. Together, PnP Online will now service 22 cities across six provinces, from over 130 locations across South Africa,” it said.

Smart Shopper integration

The Bottles app will soon also be integrated with PnP’s Smart Shopper loyalty programme.

“By early next year, on-demand customers will earn Smart Shopper points and qualify for personalised discounts, immediate Smart Price savings, and free data rewards [if they have linked their PnP Mobile SIM card to their Smart Shopper account],” the group said.

Read: Pnp to launch PnP Mobile and Boxercom

The PnP online shop now offers the same promotional offers to customers as it does in-store, including combo deals and Smart Price discounts.

The group also launched its future-focused ‘Grocery Genius’ online shopping feature – which lets customers set up an automatic weekly or monthly delivery of items they buy regularly – earlier this year.

It is unclear what impact PnP’s acquisition of Bottles and the planned launch of the Woolies Dash service will have on the independent OneCart on-demand delivery service.

Both PnP and Woolworths have a presence on the OneCart app, but some stores in the country are no longer featured on this app.

OneCart works with various South African retailers including Makro, Clicks, Jacksons Real Food Market and Mr Pet. The company recently secured a partnership with Exclusive Books and HP Store for same-day delivery of online purchases via the app.