A chain store in Centurion, south of Pretoria, has responded to the rapidly-changing lifestyles necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic by disrupting traditional forms of local supermarket shopping as we know it.

There are no more long queues and strict avoidance of physical contact with others is the new norm and thanks to technology, shoppers use a WhatsApp number to place their grocery orders.

After shoppers place their orders on the number, the store prepares the order before customers use a new drive-through to pay cash or swipe their bank cards and drive off without making contact with other shoppers.

One of the shoppers Jannie Geldencohuys says he prefers this new way of shopping.

“I think it’s a very good idea and a good initiative from Spar and I think it should continue. I think it’s a very good idea from Spar. You just WhatsAap them what you need and then they prepare it. You gave you car registration. They come to the car, load in the boot, you pay and you go. You don’t have to wait.”

Fellow shoppers expressed similar sentiments:

“I think it’s brilliant because you can just phone in. You’ve got no contact with anybody. You just phone in, you collect whatever you need. You can pay. There is no contact with anybody. It’s a brilliant service.”

Store manager Christopher Rodrigues says they introduced this new way of shopping to adapt to the rapidly-changing ways of life.

“We just thought let’s cut the queue. Let’s help them actually keep them healthy. So we have a nice new drive through initiative where people just send out their orders to us via WhatsApp or by message. We get the order ready for them. They come and collect it in their safety of their own cars, We bring it to the vehicle and you swipe. Simple as that.”

Meanwhile in the video below, SABC’s Gillan Pillay reports about people  waiting in long queues at the Diepsloot Mall: