Winnipeg’s newest delivery service promises drop-offs of local goods within an hour of ordering.
Bunnii, based in the Exchange District, launched its app Monday. The company is focusing on "affordable luxury," according to Bernice Sharples, Bunnii’s vice-president of communications and marketing.
"We’ll never be Amazon. We don’t want to be Amazon. Amazon will bring you things from around the world, and I think people will always want that. But, it also doesn’t come in an hour, and it’s not… support(ing) local," Sharples said.
Bunnii is starting with few vendors. It’s partnered with merchants such as De Luca Fine Wines, Calabria Market and Kenaston Wine Market. A pet shop and jeweller are also on the list.
"We’re targeting retailers where there’s high demand," Sharples said. "Spirits, wine and beer — that isn’t niche."
Eventually, the company plans to expand to boutiques and specialty retailers such as cheese and donut shops. Restaurant meals will not be offered.
"We don’t want to have to worry about someone’s food getting cold," Sharples said.
The launch comes during a delivery service boom. In November, Ottawa-based Trexity announced it would provide same-day delivery for Winnipeg retailers. SkipTheDishes and DoorDash bring groceries to your home. GoodLocal has its own set-up for partners.
Bunnii stands out with the products it offers, its short wait times and its Winnipeg roots, Sharple said, adding it’s inexpensive for businesses.
"It’s not like other delivery services that are really taking between 10 and 20 per cent of that revenue. Some of the early companies have made a lot of money over the pandemic by really going after a high commission plus a service fee, so it’s really a double dip," she said.
Customers ordering through Bunnii will pay a $7 delivery fee plus a commuting fee, which varies by distance. Merchants will pay a three per cent technology fee for using the app but won’t be charged a sales commission.
People can order from any shop as long as they live in Winnipeg.
"Delivery is really ingrained (in society)," Sharples said. "This isn’t something that has kind of come and gone. It’s just continued to grow."
"People get used to being able to get what they want when they want it without going out."
Bunnii is a sister company to TappCar, a ride-sharing service that entered Winnipeg in 2018. A group including Sharples acquired the business’s Winnipeg arm about six months ago.
"When we took the business on we thought we were coming out of (the pandemic). We are pivoting," Sharples said.
TappCar "disintegrated" as people stopped calling for rides, but when demand for rides drops, requests for deliveries increase, she said.
She and the Bunnii team — less than 10 people — concocted a delivery service plan in three months.
"It’s moved quickly because there’s a lot of interest," Sharples said.
The start-up began a cannabis delivery service, The Half Circle, last month. The new branches of TappCar get drivers in motion, Sharples said. Most also work for other companies, such as SkipTheDishes. TappCar has between 80 and 100 drivers at a time.
Bunnii’s partners will be featured in emails sent to TappCar’s 60,000-strong mailing list.
De Luca Fine Wines is already available on SkipTheDishes and Uber Eats, but the more platforms, the merrier, said general manager Lance Hogan.
"We’re not making as much margin as we typically would if it was somebody coming into the store, but still, we’re moving product (and) getting our name out there," he said.
Orders through third-party delivery apps have skyrocketed 50 to 75 per cent since the pandemic began, Hogan said.
The wine retailer will offer a limited menu on Bunnii to start.
PetToba — currently the only pet store on Bunnii — signed up because of the promised quick delivery time.
"We thought it was a good opportunity and a good service to our customers," said Bijal Patel, PetToba’s owner.
The Grant Park store hadn’t previously bothered with third-party apps because it does its own deliveries, most of which reach homes within a day, Patel said.
Bunnii is available in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
Gabby is a big fan of people, writing and learning. She graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in the spring of 2020.