Checkers and Pick n Pay are being swamped with online delivery orders

As South Africa battles with a third wave of Covid-19 infections, grocery retailers say that they have been inundated with orders for online deliveries.

In an email sent to customers this week, Checkers said that its Sixty60 service was facing ‘unprecedented demand’ which could impact delivery times.

The group said that this could result in some orders not being delivered immediately, and would instead be delivered during the first available delivery slot.

“High demand is impacting the speed of our delivery. Please bear with us as we do everything possible to deliver your order on time,” it said. “Our help centre is very busy. Getting hold of us might be tricky. We’ll do our best to contact you if there’s a delay with your delivery.”

Checkers said that some of this frustration could be alleviated by enabling app and WhatsApp notifications so that customers can keep up to date with deliveries.

Pick n Pay, meanwhile, said that it will add more capacity to its scheduled delivery platform, Bottles, in response to the high demand.

In Gauteng particularly, where the third wave is resulting in more people distancing and isolating, Pick n Pay has increased delivery slots by 65% on the platform, the group said.

“We have moved quickly to add delivery slots – particularly in Gauteng – to make sure that we respond to increased demand for online shopping during this time,” said John Bradshaw, retail executive of omnichannel at Pick n Pay.

Pick n Pay said that certain areas in Cape Town experiencing high demand are also receiving additional capacity while the rest of the Western Cape and other provinces are being monitored to ensure needs are met over the coming days and weeks.

The move to respond quickly comes after registrations on Bottles spiked over the last week with treble the number of users compared to the previous year.

Bottles offers same-day delivery within 60 minutes of placing an order.

Read: Updated lockdown rules for online purchases and deliveries in South Africa

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Checkers and Pick n Pay are being swamped with online delivery orders