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How Checkers Sixty60 changed the game

| On the move

By: Myles Illidge - MyBroadband

Checkers launched its 1-hour delivery service — Sixty60 — in November 2019, and it has since become a powerhouse in the grocery delivery space.

Following its launch in November 2019, Checkers’ Sixty60 app had accumulated over 3.1 million downloads as of March 2023, and the service had expanded to 466 stores by September 2023.

When it first launched during the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns, it was only available in select locations in Sandton, Johannesburg, and Cape Town.

“Sixty60 will offer unrivalled convenience because it does all the hard work for you,” said Shoprite Checkers chief on innovation and strategy Neil Schreuder.

“In our time-pressed society, providing consumers with a swift, on-demand grocery delivery service is like giving them back time: today’s most precious commodity.”

“The name Sixty60 captures the service’s main ambition: for customers to order groceries in sixty seconds and have them delivered in as little as sixty minutes,” he added.

While some may have expected the online grocery delivery space to die down following the lifting of Covid-19 lockdowns, services like Checkers Sixty60 have only grown.

In less than 18 months, the delivery service rocketed to the top spot in the list of South Africa’s top grocery shopping apps, with over 1 million downloads.

Shoprite’s annual results for the year ended 2 July 2023 revealed that while growth has slowed slightly, the service is still growing rapidly.

Sixty60 saw sales grow 149.8% during the 2021/22 financial year, and Checkers Sixty60 reported a sales increase of 81.5% in July 2023.

The retailer’s latest move for the service was to introduce Xtra Savings Plus, a R99 monthly subscription offering unlimited Sixty60 grocery deliveries, extra in-store savings, and personalised deals.

Checkers Xtra Savings Plus subscribers get the following benefits:

  • Unlimited free Sixty60 deliveries, provided they spend a minimum of R350 (non-subscribers pay R35 for delivery)
  • A 10% discount on in-store purchases up to a maximum of R200 in savings
  • Double personalised offers in-app and in-store
  • No long-term commitments, with subscribers able to pause or cancel their subscription at any time with a money-back guarantee

The Shoprite-owned service has been so successful that Pick n Pay CEO Sean Summers acknowledged that it overtook Pick n Pay’s home delivery service, which kicked off two decades ago.

“Pick n Pay launched home delivery when I was still here,” he said in reference to his first stint as chief executive between 1999 and 2007.

Summers added that Checkers had done a better job than Pick n Pay at offering a reliable home delivery service through its Sixty60 deliveries.

In addition to Pick n Pay asap!, Checkers Sixty60 competes with Spar2U and Woolworth’s online delivery services.

Woolworths is renowned for its convenience, and even it falls short of the Checkers’ Sixty60 offering in this regard.

The retailer is now fighting back through its same-day delivery service — Woollies Dash.

According to Chantal Marx, head of investment research and content at FNB Wealth and Investments, a chunk of Checkers Sixty60’s growth came at the expense of Woolworths Food.

Both compete in the high-end market, and Woolies Dash is still far behind Checkers Sixty60.

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