The Aussie Farmers Direct brand looks set to live on, despite the company going into voluntary administration and closing down two months ago.
The online grocery store ceased operation in March, citing fierce competition from supermarket rivals Coles and Woolworths as a contributing factor.
However, the name of the failed company will live on after being acquired by another online grocery chain, YourGrocer.
The small, Melbourne-based grocery delivery service has purchased the brand and customer database of Aussie Farmers Direct for an undisclosed sum, and will begin to use its branding on the YourGrocer website and delivery boxes as a “stamp of quality”.
It will also see YourGrocer expand into the Sydney market by leveraging Aussie Farmers Direct’s 100,000-strong customer database on top of the “few thousand” customers it already has in Melbourne, reports Inside FMCG.
“Our goal is to expand as quickly as we can without damaging the customer experience. The challenge for us is to figure out how to keep quality high as we scale,” YourGrocer co-founder Morgan Ranieri said.
Launched in Melbourne in 2013, YourGrocer says it gives customers access to a variety of local butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers, markets and numerous other independent grocery retailers online, with same-day delivery available for orders placed before 11am.
“We are going to be very careful with how much growth we take on over the next few months. We know that in the past we’ve sometimes grown too much, too quickly and that’s not been great for existing members,” Mr Ranieri said.
Aussie Farmer Direct began delivering vegetables, fruits, meats, bread and dairy products in 2005. It was one of the country’s biggest grocery delivery services, with the aim of connecting its farmers to Aussie shoppers without the corporate pressure of the big grocery companies. However, after more than a decade of fierce competition, Aussie Farmers Direct lost its fierce battle with Coles and Woolworths.
— InsideFMCG (@InsideFMCG) May 14, 2018
Is there appetite for another online grocery chain?
Canstar Blue’s latest survey of online grocery shoppers found that just one in five respondents (22%) do all of their grocery shopping online. However, 42% indicated that they expect to do all of their shopping online in the future.
Convenience was the most commonly-reported reason for customers to pick online shopping over visiting physical stores, followed by a lack of time.
Consumers are also willing to shop around online, with 40% of respondents suggesting they are not tied down to one specific online retailer.
However, shopping online is not without its frustrations. When asked about their biggest gripes, 25% of respondents cited delivery costs, while 18% gave not getting the items they had ordered as their main concern. A further 15% have concerns over the freshness of food, while 14% said delivery timing was their main frustration.