Pick n Pay CEO Sean Summers said they started home delivery two decades ago but that Checkers took the lead through their Sixty60 service.
Speaking to Biznews founder Alec Hogg, Summers said it is irritating that Pick n Pay was the first retailer to start home delivery, only to be outperformed by Checkers.
“Pick n Pay launched home delivery when I was still here,” he said, referring to his first stint as chief executive between 1999 and 2007.
Summers said Checkers has done a better job than Pick n Pay at offering a great home delivery service through Sixty60.
However, they are investing in their online platform and catching up to Checkers through its Pick n Pay asap! service.
“We have a great team with two really smart guys who started out with Bottles and who really understand that business,” he said.
Summers added that while the Checkers Sixty60 and Pick n Pay asap! offerings may seem revolutionary, but it is nothing new.
He recalled how, in the 1950s and 1960s, his mother would phone the grocery store with an order for whatever they needed.
A few hours later, a guy on a bicycle would arrive with a wicker basket containing all the products she ordered.
Many people would also enjoy home deliveries of milk by using a coupon system with the milkman passing each home daily.
“What has really changed?” he asked. “The internet and mobile apps have replaced the phone, and a scooter has replaced the bicycle delivery man.”
“However, in and of itself, the process of home delivery has not changed fundamentally.”
He added that the fundamentals of retail – the product, the place, and the people – remain in place.