Bother, the ambitious start-up that aimed to disrupt the UK’s grocery market by providing delivery services for home essentials, has faced a devastating setback as it has filed for liquidation, leaving customers in dismay and seeking reimbursement for unfulfilled orders.
The sudden announcement of Bother’s liquidation process caught customers off guard as they discovered that their orders would not be fulfilled. Distressed shoppers were advised to contact their banks to initiate the refund process.
Established in 2020, this British grocery delivery start-up secured an impressive $12 million (£9.63 million) in investments, embarking on a mission to revolutionize the country’s grocery sector. Rather than promising lightning-fast deliveries like other companies, Bother took a deliberate “slow approach,” offering next-day delivery for non-perishable household items such as dishwasher tablets and baked beans. Their unique selling point was centered around replenishing essential supplies before they ran out. Bother utilized an AI system known as Bother Brain, which learned and anticipated customers’ needs, placing the items in their virtual basket for easy approval. The concept revolved around simplicity—no subscriptions, no substitutions, and complimentary next-day delivery.
Moreover, Bother prided itself on its commitment to sustainable and ethical consumption, positioning itself as a more eco-friendly alternative to conventional supermarkets. However, the company’s website now displays a farewell message, stating, “To our beloved customers, we regret to inform you that Bother is ceasing operations.”
Just two years ago, Bother’s founder, Douglas Morton, expressed his ambition to expand the company nationwide and disrupt the grocery market. He observed that while food delivery services, recipe boxes, and on-demand groceries had become increasingly convenient, the delivery of bulkier household items had lagged behind, primarily relying on traditional supermarket channels that had remained unchanged for decades.
Bother garnered support from notable investors such as Sun Hung Kai & Co and Venrex Investment Management, early backers of industry giants like Uber, Just Eat, and Not on the High Street. However, the unforeseen turn of events has left the start-up’s future uncertain.
The formal appointment of liquidators is expected to occur approximately three weeks from now, after which customers and suppliers will receive communication regarding the process for making claims as unsecured creditors. Yahoo Finance UK has reached out to Bother for their official statement but has not received a response at this time.