Checkers has a ‘secret’ online shop that’s up to 40% cheaper than its other stores - but there are a few catches
- Shoprite operates a website under its Checkers Food Services (CFS) brand that sells groceries and household items up to 40% cheaper than its physical stores and the official Checkers website.
- The online store sells over 8,000 products, including fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, alcohol, household cleaning products, and coffee beans.
- Business Insider compared some of its prices.
- For more stories, visit Business Insider South Africa.
Shoprite, the country’s largest retail group, operates a website under its Checkers brand that sells groceries and household items up to 40% cheaper than its physical stores and the official Checkers website.
The largely-unknown division falls under the Checkers Food Services (CFS) brand, and is intended for use by businesses in the restaurant and catering industry. According to Shoprite, it opened to the general public in 2019 as a way to “reduce the barriers for individuals and small to mid-size enterprises in the sector”.
The online store sells over 8,000 products, including fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, alcohol, household cleaning products, and coffee beans. There are also several Checkers house brand items available.
In general, the prices at CFS are lower than those found in Checkers. But because this is an online shop geared towards businesses, there are some catches - including that you must reside in Gauteng or the Western Cape.
Most products are only available in bulk, such as a 30 litre keg of Windhoek, a giant box of 160 Cadbury’s Flakes, a 10kg box of McCain French fries, and a 6kg pack of bacon. But many are the same size - or manageably larger - than what you’ll find in Checkers stores.
There are also some anomalies with the prices. Some items become more expensive after registering and logging in - Shoprite says this is due to the site’s inability “to accurately determine the shopper’s location” while browsing anonymously.
Equally confusing is that none of products listed on the site include VAT - and there’s no disclaimer to point this out. CFS only adds VAT during the final checkout phase, which means many of the great deals turn out to be mediocre ones - at the very last step. Shoprite says they are “in the process of adding a disclaimer to the website to assist in clarifying this to users”.
The product range is also geared more towards restaurant owners than household users. And, strangely, some products are more expensive on the CFS website than anywhere else - including traditional Checkers stores.
If you spend over R1,000 on the website, CFS will deliver your goods for free within 72 hours, six days a week. Spend anything less, and you’ll have to pay R100 for delivery. You can also pick up your order of any value at a CFS warehouse at no cost.
Business Insider South Africa compared the prices of several items that might make their way into a monthly grocery shop. Not every product we checked was cheaper than a traditional Checkers, or even competing big box stores:
Checkers Foreign Ground Single Origin Coffee (Brazil), 1kg - CFS 5.4% more expensive
Checkers Sweet Potatoes, 1kg - CFS is 40% cheaper
Bananas, 1.2kg - CFS is 15% cheaper
Oreo Cookies, 152g - CFS is 4% more expensive
Makro: R19.95 (3.5% cheaper than CFS)
Sedgwicks Old Brown Sherry, 750ml - CFS is 16% cheaper
Makro: R40.23 (6.03% more expensive than CFS)
Fat Bastard Cabernet Sauvignon, 750ml - CFS is 2% more expensive
Makro: R115 (1.99% cheaper than CFS)
Amstel Lager bottles, 24 x 330ml - CFS is 4% cheaper
Makro: R230 (3.63% more expensive than CFS)
Glenmorangie 10 Year Old, 750ml - CFS is 13% cheaper
Makro: R439 (12% more expensive than CFS)
Ariel Auto Washing Powder, 3kg - CFS is 6% more expensive
Makro: R81.95 (8.93% cheaper than CFS)
Appletiser cans, 6x330ml - CFS is 5% cheaper
Makro: R62.75 (6.27% cheaper than CFS)
Tastic Long Grain Parboiled Rice, 2kg - CFS is 26% more expensive
Cadbury Flake, Box of 160 - CFS is 73% less expensive (than individual units at Checkers)
CFS bulk: R517.49 (unit price: R3.23)
Checkers: R11.99 (40g unit)
Makro: R493.95 (unit price: R3.08)
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