The specialised spiral conveyor system at the Takealot pickup point in Midrand is seen in this photograph. Picture: TAKEALOT
The specialised spiral conveyor system at the Takealot pickup point in Midrand is seen in this photograph. Picture: TAKEALOT

South Africans can add some theatre to their shopping as the country’s largest online retailer, Takealot, launched more than 25 collection facilities across the country on Friday.

The flagship Takealot pickup point at the New Road off-ramp in Midrand spans the N1, Africa’s busiest highway, with its specialised spiral conveyor system, allowing motorists travelling in both directions to easily collect their online orders.

“Establishing the Midrand collection facility at this location provides an added layer of convenience for our Gauteng customers,” Takealot CEO Kim Reid told Business Day.

“Ultimately we aim to convert around 10% of orders from the greater Johannesburg area to collections for Takealot and Superbalist.”

The Naspers-owned retailer said the points would allow shoppers to order online, pick up their products when it suits them from the various collection points, and drop off returns nationwide.

As with the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon, Takealot has built up a considerable logistics business.

“Takealot is first and foremost a retailer, however logistics are an integral part of the business and a key factor in its success,” Reid said.

“Through our in-house logistics network, the Takealot delivery team, we are able to deliver over 1.4-million deliveries each month in total, offering shoppers a fast and reliable service.

“Currently the Takealot delivery team and Takealot pickup points’ primary focus is servicing companies within the Takealot group brands,” Reid said. 

E-commerce in SA accounts for an estimated 1.4% of total retail sales, while developed markets in the US, Europe and China are on average at about 12%-15%.

Despite success on the continent of companies such as Jumia, the MTN-backed Nigerian e-commerce operator that listed on the New York Stock Exchange in April, Takealot has no plans to expand outside SA. 

“We believe there is still a large opportunity for the growth of e-commerce within SA,” Reid said. 

gavazam@businesslive.co.za

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