South Africa’s JSE-listed retailer Woolworths is trialling electric delivery vans to deliver goods ordered online to people’s homes.

“In line with our vision to be one of the most sustainable retailers in the world, in collaboration with DSV and Everlectric we are trialling electric panel vans into our online shopping delivery fleet, a first in the South African retail space,” Woolworths said in a Twitter post.

Woolworths wrote that to power the vans it sourced electricity from renewable and sustainable sources including rooftop Solar PV installations.

“Where onsite generation of renewable energy is not available or practical, we offset 100% of the electricity emissions via renewable energy certificates.”

The retailer added: “In the last 2 months we’ve saved nearly 3600kgs of CO2 emissions.”

Also read: Woolworths Online Food Sales Jumped 118% On Pandemic-Led Digital Boom

Woolworths reported today a 118% rise in online food sales as the retailer benefited from a pandemic-led digital boom in South Africa.

“Online sales grew by 117.9% over the current year, contributing 2.3% to our South African Food sales,” the retailer informed investors today.

“This was further supported by the expanded Click-and-Collect offering and the roll out of our on-demand delivery service, Woolies Dash.”

The Woolworths Food business grew both market share and volumes during the period despite the high base set in the prior year driven by stockpiling ahead of the first lockdown.

Sales for the current year grew by 6.9%, and by 5.7% in comparable stores, on price movement of 5.2% and underlying product inflation of 4.9%.

Net space increased by 0.6%. Sales in the second half of the current year grew by 3.2%, and by 16.9% over a two-year period, reflective of the investment in innovation and our robust business model. Whilst there has been some reversion in customer shopping behaviour, frozen foods and groceries continue to deliver strong growth.

“Due to the continued Covid-related trading restrictions, trade in cafes, and wine and beverages remains negatively impacted,” the retailer said.

“We continue to invest in price in key product categories to improve our value proposition, while remaining focused on product quality, innovation and convenience.”

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