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Pick n Pay acquires on-demand liquor delivery app Bottles

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Bottles co-founder and joint-CEO Vincent Viviers.
Bottles co-founder and joint-CEO Vincent Viviers.

Pick n Pay has acquired Bottles, SA’s first on-demand liquor delivery app, which it says will help the grocery, clothing and general merchandise retailer strengthen its online business.

Bottles was launched in 2016 and partnered with Pick n Pay in 2018, when its offer was the first of its kind, promising that orders would be delivered within 60 minutes.

The partnership with Pick n Pay helped Bottles to scale its delivery service through the retailer’s 50-plus stores nationwide.

Last year, the app won the People’s Choice Award at the MTN Business App of the Year Awards − the only category voted for by the public.

Following the prohibition on the sale of alcohol in March due to the COVID-19 lockdown, Bottles re-purposed its app within four days, emerging with a new offer to deliver on-demand “grocery essentials” to customers.

Since its move to groceries on 31 March, the app has achieved more than 700 000 downloads, with over 350 000 registered users. The service offers over 7 000 products at store prices, with an average delivery time of 90 minutes.

Pick n Pay CEO Richard Brasher says: “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 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% increase in active customers.

“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’ achievement as the best-rated app by customers in the sector.

Brasher says acquiring Bottles will enable Pick n Pay to build on the momentum it has achieved by integrating the Bottles business into the company’s existing online offer.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by November, and Bottles founding members Enrico Ferigolli and Vincent Viviers, key managers and staff will move across to Pick n Pay after the conclusion of the agreement.

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