Deals

South Africa's TFG buys online shopping and delivery provider Quench

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A shopper walks past a Foschini store at a shopping centre in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, file. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

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JOHANNESBURG, Dec 2 (Reuters) - South Africa's TFG (TFGJ.J) is buying on-demand online shopping platform and last mile delivery provider Quench, as part of a push to grow its e-commerce business, the fashion and homeware retailer said on Thursday.

After years spent lagging much of the world in terms of e-commerce, South African retailers and delivery startups have generated record online sales as consumers avoid shops because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the boom had strained the capacity of even the largest retailers, forcing them to invest and make e-commerce acquisitions to improve wait times and services.

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As they vye to become e-commerce leaders, retailers have complemented their scheduled delivery and click-and-collect services with on-demand delivery.

"With this acquisition we gain access to fast, reliable delivery across South Africa, whilst achieving superior delivery unit economics," Claude Hannan, Co-Head of TFGLabs, a newly established tech hub, said.

Quench is one of the liquor delivery services that pivoted into on-demand groceries and other essential products, such as medicine at the height of COVID-19-led lockdowns when alcohol was banned in South Africa.

It operates as a marketplace where shoppers can buy products from different suppliers.

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Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; editing by Barbara Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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