Subject to approval by competition authorities, South African e-commerce giants, and longstanding rivals, Takealot and Kahalari have announced that they are merging their operations. The online retailers will continue to trade separately through the festive season and would only join together once they meet the competition commission approval.
“The move was driven by the fact that, without scale, SA e-retailers simply can’t compete successfully against the local brick-and-mortar retailers and foreign companies such as Amazon and Alibaba,” the companies said.
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“After many years of losses on Kalahari and four years on Takealot, we realise we have to work together if we are to survive and prosper,” said Oliver Rippel, Kalahari. “If you also take into account an uneven playing field against foreign operators who do not pay tax in South Africa, and the fact that high broadband costs are impeding the speed of growth in local online shoppers, combining forces gives us a better chance of success.”
“We are very excited about this transaction and the efficiencies and scale that it can generate for the merged business. We will continue to make sure that our primary focus is on the customers of the merged entity as they are the life blood of our business,” said Takealot.
Had this been during the month of April it would be easy to consider it a prank. Could we see a Takahari or Kalalot soon? And will they be able to rival the likes of Amazon?