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SA delivery startup Bottles acquired by retailer Pick n Pay

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South African retailer Pick n Pay has concluded an agreement to purchase on-demand delivery startup Bottles.

Reports on “Bottles” first showcased in 2016, and the startup has been steadily growing since. Following the prohibition on the sale of alcohol in South Africa in March, Bottles repurposed its app within four days, emerging with a new offering to deliver on-demand grocery essentials to customers.

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

Bottles first partnered Pick n Pay in 2018, and has now been acquired by the retailer. The acquisition is expected to be completed by November, with Bottles founding members Enrico Ferigolli and Vincent Viviers, and key managers and staff, moving across to Pick n Pay.

The move will enable the retailer to build on the success it has achieved in partnership with Bottles in recent months, and further strengthen its online grocery business.

“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 per cent increase in active customers,” Pick n Pay chief executive officer (CEO) Richard Brasher said.

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

Pick n Pay is, therefore, “delighted” to be acquiring Bottles.

“It will enable us to build on the tremendous momentum we have achieved by integrating the Bottles business into our existing online offer, and applying Bottles’s agility, innovation and marketing flair across our platform,” Brasher said.

“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.”

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