Kiyapili Sibanda, Business Reporter
CHOPPIES Zimbabwe has partnered with Variable Solutions to champion an innovative online shopping system that enables customers to order goods using the internet.
The platform was developed by Kamelee, a United Kingdom-based independent grocery click and collect platform for African expatriates, and is being technically supported by a local firm, Variable Solutions.
Choppies Zimbabwe managing director, Mr Siqokoqela Mphoko, confirmed the development to Business Chronicle in an interview.
He said through this arrangement, Zimbabweans in the diaspora are able to buy groceries for their relatives in Zimbabwe.
“A person can log in to Kamelee.co.uk and can select Choppies Solomons as the store where he or she wants to purchase.
“The store will have all the items listed with their online prices. The person can select the groceries and be able to pay using a credit or debit card,” said Mr Mphoko.
“The buyer would have to give details and identification document number of a person who is collecting the groceries in Zimbabwe whether a relative or friend.”
He said the person with the stated ID number can then come and collect the groceries in store after showing the proof of his or her identification document.
“It is an arrangement whereby anyone abroad can buy groceries for their relatives here in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Mphoko.
He said although the agreement was signed some months back, the buying of groceries through an online platform started last week.
Variable Solutions director, Mr Malvern Nyamadzawo, said the online shopping platform process was instant in that the moment a buyer confirms payment, Choppies will receive the order immediately.
He also said they would be spreading the model to other Choppies branches in the coming weeks.
The Bulawayo-headquartered retail firm runs 17 branches in the City of Kings alone and 32 outlets countrywide. It is already working on opening another branch in Parklands suburb, the first to be set up in a low density suburb in Bulawayo.
Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s family are a key shareholder in the Botswana-listed regional retail group.