Checkers opens its first ‘dark store’ as online shopping booms

Shoprite Holdings said on Monday that its Checkers subsidiary has opened its first “dark store” – a store specifically to serve on-demand delivery – as online grocery shopping continues to enjoy “notably strong growth”.

In an operational update for the quarter ended 30 September 2022, JSE-listed Shoprite said Checkers Sixty60 – its on-demand online shopping platform – has seen further strong growth in the latest reporting period “despite its incredible growth trajectory built up over the almost three years since its launch”.

Shoprite did not provide details about the pace of growth recorded by Checkers 60Sixty in the most recent quarter.

“The continued success of this one hour, on-demand grocery delivery app has led Checkers to open its first dark store in Cape Town during the first quarter. This is one of many exciting initiatives undertaken by our ShopriteX tech hub team, who continue to innovate and monetise our digital and alternate revenue stream opportunities that increasingly form part of our group-wide ecosystem strategy,” Shoprite said.

Members of the public can’t walk into the dark store. Rather, it’s there to serve on-demand clients with grocery deliveries only.

Shoprite rival Pick n Pay has also reported a strong improvement in online sales as South African consumers warm to the idea of shopping for groceries on the Internet.

In the 18 weeks ended 3 July 2022, Pick n Pay’s total online sales – which include scheduled delivery, click and collect and its asap! on-demand online service –  grew by 97.3%.

Read: Pick n Pay launches online homeware store

It didn’t provide a gross value for the sales. Much of the strong growth in online sales likely came from Pick n Pay asap!, which grew its sales by 300% in the year ended February 2022.

In May, Pick n Pay and Naspers-owned Takealot Group announced that they had signed a commercial services agreement that would allow customers to buy Pick n Pay food, groceries and liquor on a new platform on Takealot’s Mr D app.  – © 2022 NewsCentral Media

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