Online retailer Takealot officially opened its flagship Gauteng collection facility in Midrand today. Situated over the N1 Highway at the New Road offramp, the facility will allow consumers to collect their orders instead of having them delivered, and do returns. The facility is designed to support more than 7,000 collections a day, and services both Takealot and Superbalist customers.
The new collection point is one of 25 currently available around South Africa, with another 25 expected to open for business over the next year. The Midrand facility was designed by Cape Town-based architecture firm, Bomax Architects. It employs more than 20 people and makes collections a breeze by allowing customers to check in by scanning a QR code using a kiosk at the entrance, after which they’re instructed to take a seat and look out for further information on the large screen situated behind the counter. Within a couple of minutes, customers are told which counter to collect their parcel from — after it’s made its way down the spiral conveyor belt — and after signing on a mobile device’s touchscreen, they’re good to go.
Not in Kansas
Asked why Takealot is growing its footprint of collection facilities, CEO Kim Reid says, “The fact is we’re not in the [United] States. Delivery can be difficult. People aren’t always at their homes or their businesses. Collection points provide another place for people to collect their goods while still letting them enjoy the convenience of online shopping”.
Customers can choose collection as an option when checking out on Takealot or Superbalist and will be notified when their purchase is ready for collection. Reid says if an item is in stock the turnaround time from order to arrival at the collection point is around two days, but Takealot is hoping to offer same-day delivery to collection points within the next six months.
Forming new habits
At launch, the Midrand collection point’s operating hours are 6AM to 8PM on weekdays, and 8AM to 5PM on weekends, but Reid says Takealot will consider adjusting those times “to cater for people’s habits”.
In Cape Town, Takealot sees 10-15% of all orders being sent to collection points, and Reid says the company is hoping to see similar enthusiasm for the option in Gauteng and hopes to convert at least 10% of its orders from delivery to collection. With over 150,000 vehicles passing the Midrand facility on the N1 each day, there’s certainly a market.