Secrets behind Checkers Sixty60’s smash success 

Shoprite’s Checkers Sixty60 has skyrocketed in popularity and use since it launched in 2019 due to the impressive logistics system behind the service, managed by Pingo.

Checkers Sixty60 was launched in end-2019 and is currently the number one grocery app in South Africa, with over 4.5 million downloads.

It is available at 505 locations, has provided 9,903 jobs and its sales have increased over tenfold since the first half of 2021.

Shoprite’s latest interim results revealed that Checkers Sixty60 grew sales by 63.1% over the last six months.

However, Shoprite has been tight-lipped about Checkers Sixty60’s financial performance and has never released revenue or profit numbers.

In the retailer’s most recent interim results presentation, Shoprite CEO Pieter Engelbrecht said Checkers Sixty60 is “very profitable”. “I know there are people who don’t believe it, but believe me – it is very profitable,” he said.

Engelbrecht was also asked about Checkers Sixty60’s competitive advantage over other eCommerce players like Takealot and the soon-to-arrive Amazon.

“The difference between us and someone like both Takealot and Amazon is that we have this very large footprint of stores that we use as mico fulfilment centres as opposed to a very expensive single distribution centre,” he explained.

“It’s a completely different model, which is also why I can confidently tell you that Sixty60 is very profitable.”

Shoprite CEO Pieter Engelbrecht

Logistics has long been touted as the backbone of any successful eCommerce business. Many experts highlighted that eCommerce is not about a website, app, or product range but rather logistics.

Since Checkers Sixty60 promises customers to deliver their orders within 60 minutes of ordering, the service’s logistics business must be exceptionally efficient.

The backbone of Checkers Sixty60’s logistics success is a company called Pingo Delivery.

In 2022, Shoprite entered into an agreement with the RTT Group, the delivery partner for Checkers Sixty60. 

Under this agreement, RTT’s on-demand business was transferred to a new company, Pingo, in which Shoprite has a 50% shareholding.

While Pingo has since grown beyond just servicing and supporting Sixty60 and now works with a variety of businesses, the service is still the largest part of Pingo’s operations – and it is performing very well.

Shoprite’s 2023 results revealed that Pingo made R994 million in revenue and R85 million in profit.

Sales through Checkers Sixty60 are reported as part of Checkers and Checkers Hyper’s sales. This means most of Pingo’s revenue comes from the R35 charged per Sixty60 delivery.

Through these R35 delivery charges and income from the other businesses it serves, Pingo is able to cover all of its expenses and make a profit.

These expenses include paying the over 4,000 drivers Pingo employs.

Checkers Sixty60 drivers

Daily Investor spoke to some Checkers Sixty60 drivers to learn more about their remuneration structure and the number of deliveries Pingo handles.

The drivers revealed that they make, on average, 15 deliveries a day. The maximum deliveries they can realistically do in a day is between 26 and 28, but this rarely happens. 

In addition, the drivers need to provide their own bikes, but Pingo pays for their fuel.

Pingo remunerates its drivers per delivery and has specific adjustments depending on whether the driver makes one or two deliveries – called “batched deliveries” – at a time.

Interestingly, Pingo seems to lose money on most of its single orders since the driver’s total remuneration is more than the R35 delivery fee.

However, since the company turns a sizeable profit, we can assume that drivers deliver more batched orders than single orders, which ensures they get paid more and Pingo can still make a profit.

This model has allowed Pingo to become a profitable business and the reason behind Checkers Sixty60’s runaway success.

The Checkers Sixty60 drivers Daily Investor spoke to showed us their remuneration breakdown, shown in the tables below.

The orders on which Pingo seemingly makes a profit are marked in green, while the orders on which they make a loss are indicated in red.

Single orders

Distance band (km)Driver order remuneration (R)Fuel (R)Total driver remuneration (R)
0 to 10303.9633.96
10 to 203012.5742.57
20 to 303016.8746.87
30 to 403025.4855.48

Batched orders

Distance band (km)Driver order remuneration (R)Fuel (R)Total driver remuneration (R)
First order0 to 10303.9650.31
Second order0 to 1016.35
First order10 to 203012.5758.92
Second order10 to 2016.35
First order20 to 303016.8763.22
Second order20 to 3016.35
First order30 to 403025.4871.83
Second order30 to 4016.35