PnP and Woolies intensify on-demand delivery battle

The on-demand grocery delivery space has become more competitive, with Pick n Pay and Woolworths both announcing improved on-demand delivery offerings this week.

Monday saw Woolworths announce that it will be merging its online shopping and delivery modes – Woolies Dash and the Woolworths App – into a single comprehensive application (app).

And on Tuesday, Pick n Pay announced that customers in selected areas of Cape Town and Johannesburg can now buy over 10 000 Pick n Pay products on the Takealot-owned Mr D Food app.

This is an attempt by the two grocery retail giants to catch up with Checkers which has stayed ahead of the curve with its Sixty60 offering, which launched in late 2019 and has since cemented its reputation as the go-to grocery delivery platform for many households. 

Read: Mighty Checkers machine rolls on, Sixty60 sales up 150%

Pick n Pay

Pick n Pay’s partnership with Mr D Food was announced in May when the group launched its new growth strategy, the Ekuseni strategic plan.

The partnership will allow Pick n Pay customers to buy products on the Mr D app at the same prices charged in-store – and earn the Smart Shopper points and eBucks they would on a regular shopping trip. 

Although the offering is currently being piloted at certain stores in Cape Town and Johannesburg, plans are to expand the service to 300 stores nationwide by December in line with Mr D’s delivery networks. 

The retailer has also followed Sixty60’s lead, promising order deliveries within a 60-minute time frame. 

The demand for online grocery shopping has grown rapidly, and there is huge potential for further growth,” says Vincent Viviers, executive co-head of omnichannel at Pick n Pay.

“By working alongside the Takealot Group and Mr D, we will give customers the best and most reliable on-demand offer in South Africa.”

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In the words of Takealot Group CEO Mamongae Mahlare: “We need to keep innovating and collaborating to ensure we become more efficient in delivering on our promises and serving our customers. Partnerships such as these unlock significant value and opportunity, leading to new business models and employment opportunities that result in more of our people being able to work and contribute to growing our economy.”


According to Woolworths, the move to merge its online shopping and delivery offerings came after customers expressed preference for it to be this way. Woolworths says the service will be available at 100 stores across the country.

On the integrated omnichannel, customers will be able to choose between scheduled delivery, click and collect, or on-demand delivery.

“A seamless omnichannel experience is at the heart of strategy,” says head of online Liz Hillock. “Our customers have expressed their preference to have one app to do all of their Woolies shopping and manage their services.”

The upmarket food retailer says it has over 1.8 million users on the Woolworths App who generate over half of its ecommerce sales, and that this is bound to accelerate with the merger with Woolies Dash. 

Woolworths stores will be transitioning to the consolidated omnichannel up until Thursday 6 October, and Woolies Dash will officially stop taking orders on Friday 7 October. 

“Woolies Dash has grown incredibly fast; we’re running at 95% early and on-time deliveries and we’re focused on taking it to the next level,” it says. “By integrating our apps, we’re also making some core ‘backstage’ and operational improvements that will allow us to exceed customer expectations.”

Read: Fresh not so good for Woolies

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