Sainsbury’s Ex-Boss Justin King Buys into Fast-Growing Grocery Delivery App Market

Former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King has taken a stake within the fast-growing grocery delivery app market.

The Snappy Group said Mr. King was now a senior adviser to it and had made “a significant personal investment”.

The Dundee-based group’s Snappy Shopper app service offers goods from local convenience stores in half-hour.

Deliveroo does an equivalent for giant supermarkets, while several latest app-based services deliver from their warehouses in as little as 10 minutes.

Snappy Shopper doesn’t claim to be as fast as fellow start-ups like Weezy, Dija, Zapp, and Getir.

However, it does cover far more of the United Kingdom, with most of its rivals currently confined to parts of London and selected other cities.

It partners with convenience stores including Spar, Nisa, and Costcutter, directing users of its app and website to the closest local participant and charging £1.95 for delivery.

“Fundamentally these shops are located in brilliant locations to serve their local communities,” Mr. King told the Sunday Times.

“They are fantastic distribution assets, but they do not have the time to travel online.”

Pandemic boost

The Snappy Group said it aimed to “democratize e-commerce technology by providing a reasonable solution to local businesses, enabling them to compete within the fast-growing home delivery market”.

It said Mr. King, who was chief executive of Sainsbury’s between 2004 and 2014, would become a non-executive director once its current fundraising round was complete.

Since the coronavirus pandemic struck, the marketplace for home delivery of groceries has become more intense, with many of us preferring to avoid physical shops for fear of catching the virus.

While most of the supermarkets run online shopping services of their own, they need also increasingly turned to apps like Deliveroo to supply customers with a convenient way of getting a little number of things in a hurry.

Sainsbury’s, for instance, has recently expanded its partnership with Deliveroo, meaning that about 30% of the population can now choose from some 1,000 Sainsbury’s products within 20 minutes.

As a tech platform, Snappy Shopper is attempting to level the playing field, by giving smaller players an equivalent opportunity to succeed in shopper’s reception.

It pre-dates the pandemic since it had been founded in 2017.

However, Snappy Shopper does not employ any drivers. All deliveries are organized and administered by its partner stores themselves.

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