Woolworths launches contactless drive-through shopping

It launched over the Easter Weekend in Cape Town.
Woolworths Food. Image: Supplied

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.

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What happens if some good looking rich lady from Sandton throws a tantrum because she SPECIFICALLY ordered Almond milk instead of normal milk but when she got to the front of the queue, they gave her 2% cow milk? Does everybody then sit in their cars and wait until they deliver the right product??

Well if She is Shopping in Durbanville , she has driven a hell of a long way to shop !!

Well, I would assume that Woolworths will expand the trial store in Durbanville to other stores, otherwise, it wouldn’t make much sense now, would it?

Narrator: Karen was REALLY looking forward to making almond milk ice cream.

NO they pull over to the side and wait whilst the next in the que is served. Besides you would have to order in advance because it is not a KFC drive through….

Sexist comment. Why pick a location? Implying that those that live in Sandton are somehow difficult.

Nah, the comment accurately portrays the prevailing attitude in that area…

People who live in Sandton are the WORST.

so Woolworths the only retailer to consistently never have anything on their shelves now launch a service that wont be able to supply drive through buyers as well,how about just stock their shelves first before trying to get ahead of themselves. Woolworths couldn’t pull this off even if Elon Musk was working for them.

I work for a board game company and we did well before the lockdown as customers found board games to be beneficial for passing the time with their families during lockdown. But we had to close as our company was not regarded as selling essentials. It would however be great if I could go to work just to pack parcels for online buyers – 3 hours in the mornings and have them couriered to the customer – not to open for shoppers at this stage. This way we can keep the company afloat and create more work for the courier company. There have been many emails asking if we could deliver board games during lockdown.

So I used the online “Pick & Click” and went to collect this morning at the Linksfield Terrace Woolworths branch in Gauteng (you can choose a collection time – between 10 & 11 am or in the afternoon).
It was great…
They reserved the parking right outside the entrance for the pick ups. They were waiting for me and asked for my order number … they fetched my order and put it in the trunk of my car. I signed next to my name and did not have to get out the car at all. I think it is a brilliant idea. Very friendly concerned staff.

End of comments.

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