• Checkers has just launched a grocery shopping app that promises delivery within the hour.
  • We were sceptical, but received our groceries within 24 minutes of clicking "order".
  • The retailer may be onto a complete game changer for working urbanites.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

On Monday, Checkers went live with a pilot of Sixty60, a grocery shopping app that promises delivery within the hour.

We were dubious about the audacious delivery time claim – and the wisdom of including it in its name. (Let’s face it, if it disappoints, it won’t take a South African minute before it’s known as Fifty50 – after the chance you’ll get it on time.)

But our cynicism was unfounded. Our groceries were delivered within 24 minutes from the moment of ordering, in a pleasing brown paper bag, with all the products perfectly tetris-ed inside.

READ: Checkers is testing a 1-hour-delivery online shopping service in Sandton and Cape Town – and for now it is free

We didn’t pay a cent in delivery costs and – and unlike other speedy delivery services like Uber Eats, the prices weren’t inflated. We paid what you would in a Checkers store, which is generally cheaper than many of its competitors. 

Granted, the creepily fast delivery time was probably due in part to the fact that few other people were using the app yet. And currently, the service is restricted to a couple of spots in Joburg and Cape Town, primarily close to large office buildings. In time, delivery costs will also be introduced.

Still, if Checkers can keep it up, having your groceries delivered within an hour feels like a complete game changer. No more booking delivery slots for days in advance.

You can get your lunch delivered, along with your day-to-day grocery shopping (including alcohol), without leaving your desk.

Here’s what the experience was like:

We downloaded the app from the Apple app store. It was easy to navigate, slick and we didn’t experience a single glitch.

Apart from the usual categories, products are also grouped together in unusual sets, including "Hangover Cure" (featuring Sparletta Creme Soda, also known as "the green ambulance", asprin, and fancy chocolates in a "PS I'm Sorry" subsection) and "Baby Emergency", with nappies and food.

Thanks in part to the appealing visuals, we found these categories just on the right side of quirky, without venturing into the annoying. It also introduced an element of fun into the drudgery of grocery shopping. 

The only downside was the range of products. There are some 5,000 products listed on the app – but we couldn’t find coffee beans.  Also, a couple of the mainly fresh products were out of stock.

Ordering was easy, as was adding a payment option. You are offered various options if your chosen products are not in stock.

Our order went through at 09:27 on Monday morning...

... and by 09:51 it was delivered.

 Kudos to Checkers for delivering in a pleasingly sturdy brown bag (not plastic). All the products ordered arrived, no complaints there.

The whole experience was remarkably easy and if Checkers manages to maintain this level of speed and efficiency, other retailers should start to get worried.

The Checkers Sixty60 is available for Apple devices in the App Store, and in the Google Play Store for Android.


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