"Although many of our retailers have been quick to respond to consumers’ needs for online shopping, we have recognised the need for a sophisticated offering, tailored for our unique business model," CEO Brett Botten said at the time. "We believe that the Spar business model requires an online shopping solution that serves our Spar consumers but one which also will add value to our independent retail partners and the communities in which they operate," he added.
Following a successful pilot, Spar has now confirmed that the Spar2U service will be made available in a group of stores in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg by the end of next month. The service will deliver groceries and liquor to online shoppers.
"Interest levels from Spar retailers to utilise the new platform remain high and this will enhance the group’s ability to assist retailers in driving improved consumer service and engagement going forward," Spar said in the new trading update.
Once expanded to other areas and cities, the Spar2U service will compete with the likes of Checkers Sixty60, Pick n Pay ASAP and Woolies Dash.
Notably, it saw wholesale sales growth of 8.2%, predominantly driven by the substantially increased liquor sales following the lifting of the liquor bans relating to the Covid-19 pandemic. Spar said sales at its Tops liquor stores jumped by a massive 56% during the 18-week period, in comparison to the same period last year.
Demand for building materials at its Build It business saw a 1.8% sales growth, as the demand for building materials slowed down.