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Grocery Butler looks to new markets

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 10.22.48 AMMelbourne-based, Grocery Butler, is set to disrupt Australia’s budding online grocery market as it looks to take its delivery service national by the end of the year and expand its category range.

Grocery Butler was started by Michael Parthenides in Melbourne in August last year, and operates a network of around 30 to 40 couriers, known as ‘grocery butlers’ to collect and deliver grocery items within 90 minutes. Grocery Butler facilitates the online order on its website, however, is not aligned with any supermarkets.

Since first starting in selected suburbs across Melbourne, the service has rolled out to Sydney, and launched in Brisbane earlier this year in February, with Grocery Butler now in around 250 suburbs across all three states.

“We have no relationships with any of the supermarkets. Everything you see on our website is our prices and our own product listing. We don’t hold any stock or inventory. We facilitate the sale and we then push the sale onto a contracted shopper, who we call ‘grocery butlers’. They go to the supermarket, they do the shopping on behalf the customer and they are able to call the customer if there are any issues. We keep [the products] generic, that gives us the ability to shop at any locations, which is important to us given we’re promising delivery in such a short amount of time,” Parthenides told Inside FMCG.

Helping its success has been the use of social media, mainly Facebook, which Parthenides says has helped drive engagement and allowed the company to specifically target key demographics likely to use the service. The customer base is currently a mixture of demographics, with the average basket size around $80.

According to Parthenides, the service has become popular with busy professionals who generally use Grocery Butler to fill the gap between their next weekly shop, spending around $80 and $90. Dubbed by Parthenides as the ‘late night munchies crowd’, a growing market identified by Grocery Butler has been those that use online ordering system between 6pm and 8pm and spend around $45. Adelaide and Perth is said to be next on the company’s radar, as well as possible expansion of its currently category range.

“We want to be national by the end of the year. Adelaide and Perth are the next two cities to hit, plus expanding our radius in our already existing territories. There are also other things we’re looking at the moment. We’re close to adding two more categories, possibly more, within the next few months. We’ve got ambitious expansion plans heading forward, it’s a very exciting time for Grocery Butler.”

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