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TFG snaps up SA startup Quench

Fashion and lifestyle retail group TFG has agreed to acquire Quench, a local shopping platform and last mile delivery provider, as the Foschini and Markham owner looks to ramp up e-commerce capabilities.

Quench launched in Stellenbosch in 2016 as an on-demand, app-based service delivering beer, wine and spirits from retailers and partners to customers’ homes and businesses. At the start of the national Covid-19 lockdown the startup expanded its service to offer same-day deliveries of groceries and other essentials, and later added meal deliveries from restaurants.

TFG said the addition of Quench to the company’s existing portfolio of brands will “further position TFG as the leading omnichannel retailer in Africa”, and added that the deal is expected to give the group access to fast, reliable delivery across South Africa and to proprietary software and engineering capability that brings a scientific approach to planning, least-cost routing and asset utilisation.

“The acquisition is a key step to enabling TFG’s inclusive economy ambitions and will contribute to the continued growth in TFG’s online turnover,” TFG said.

Commenting on the acquisition, Claude Hanan, co-head of TFGLabs, the technology division leading TFG’s digital transformation efforts, said: “We will continue to service Quench’s existing partners and customers and, in fact, will immediately invest in improving our offering and service to both.

“Our team has extensive experience across last mile delivery and technology platforms and, together with the Quench team, we believe that we can build on the foundations and continue to enhance the offering.”

The Quench acquisition follows similar deals made between some of SA’s largest retailers and nimble startups over the past year. Pick n Pay acquired on-demand delivery service Bottles in 2020, while Massmart announced two months ago that it reached an agreement to acquire grocery retail and delivery startup OneCart.

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