Woolworths has announced that it will be expanding its shopping options to customers through its new contactless, Click & Collect drive-through service.
It announced on Wednesday that Woolies shoppers will have the option to do their grocery shopping, without having to leave the comfort and safety of their cars.
The clothing and food retailer says it launched this new way of shopping last week as a trial at the Durbanville Food Store.
Liz Hillock, head of online and mobile says in the past few weeks they have been focused on putting in place all the necessary precautions to safeguard the wellbeing of our customers and employees during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have seen an unprecedented increase in demand for our online offering during this crisis. Since the start of the lockdown we’ve increased our capacity by over 50% but demand remains sky-high. As an example, for the Easter period, we opened almost 2000 additional delivery slots which were taken up in a matter of hours,” Hillock says.
She says Click & Collect is a great way to scale because it also means that Woolworths does not compromise its difference and core qualities, “that being our rigorous cold chain to keep your favourite Woolies food fresh”.
“Customers simply arrive at our store during the chosen collection window, and our assistants will greet you at the allocated Click & Collect parking bays and bring your groceries to your boot,” adds Hillock.
Not all happy
However, on the other hand, South African logistics and e-commerce businesses are pleading with the government to allow home deliveries of non-essential goods to be allowed during the lockdown.
They addressed the letter to Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel through Andy Higgins, who is the founder and former managing director at bidorbuy.co.za, stating that there are heavy trade and transport restrictions put in place during the national lockdown brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The letter, which is claimed to be signed by 4 000 companies notes that the ban on the sale and home delivery of non-essential goods via e-commerce, and calls for these restrictions to be lifted in order to assist citizens and small businesses during the lockdown period.
They advocate that “this endeavour would add great value to society and adds a minimal risk of spreading the virus as e-commerce allows for the sale of goods without social interaction”, and “the logistics industry has already adopted the necessary preventive measures to avoid the transmission of Covid-19 with the home delivery of essential goods”.
The letter argues that by allowing all goods – including those deemed to be non-essential – to be transported domestically by professional courier companies many businesses will continue to operate and provide a valuable service to society while not adding undue risk in further spreading the virus.
They add that many drivers stand to lose their jobs if they are not able to fulfil enough daily shipments provided by essential goods alone.