Bother, the delivery start-up service for home essentials that wanted to disrupt the UK’s grocery market, has gone bust, leaving orders unfulfilled and shoppers scrambling to get a refund.
Customers were caught by surprise when they checked on their orders only to get a message saying that the company had gone into a liquidation process.
Bother is no longer taking any orders and any customer who was expecting a delivery is being advised to contact their bank to get a refund.
British grocery delivery start-up founded in 2020 raised $12m (£9.63m) from investors and set out to disrupt the UK’s grocery market.
Instead of the 10-minutes or 15-minutes delivery services from other companies, Bother took a “slow approach”, meaning next-day delivery on household items that don’t require refrigerating, offering everything from dishwasher tablets to baked beans.
Bother aimed to replenish household supplies before they ran out, using AI dubbed as Bother Brain to ‘learn’ what a customer needs and when – Bother pre-emptied the order and put it in the customer’s basket so they just needed to approve it. No subscriptions, no substitutions, just free next day delivery, was the idea behind it.
Bother was also committed to sustainable and ethical consumption, claiming to offer a more sustainable solution than heading to your local supermarket.
But now its website shows a so long and thank you message, stating “To our lovely customers, we’re sad to announce that Bother is closing.”
Only two years ago, founder Douglas Morton said he wanted to expand across the whole of the UK and disrupt the grocery market.
“With the rise of Deliveroo, recipe boxes and on-demand groceries, food can be delivered with increasing convenience, but bulky household items still lag behind, sold predominantly through the same channels they have been for 70 years – the supermarkets,” he said in 2021.
The household items delivery startup got support from Sun Hung Kai & Co and Venrex Investment Management, the early investors of Uber, Just Eat and Not on the High Street.
Yahoo Finance UK knows that the formal appointment of liquidators will not take place for approximately three weeks.
Only after that will the liquidators be in contact with customers and suppliers with details on how to make a claim as an unsecured creditor.
Bother has been approached for comment.
Watch: UK's Deliveroo to cut 9% of jobs as orders dip