Canadian Commuters Save Time With Loblaw’s New Online Offering

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Rush hour commuting is usually not the most enjoyable part of the work week. But now, time-strapped Canadian commuters can perhaps get home earlier by trying Loblaw’s upcoming online grocery service. As the following article describes, online orders can be paid in advance and picked up the next day at selected Toronto area transit stations.

Busy consumers will soon have one more way to avoid going to the grocery store as Canadian retailers ramp up their e-commerce offerings in an apparent effort to beat tech titan Amazon, which recently entered the country’s grocery market. Loblaw Companies Ltd. announced Monday it will launch a new service in the spring that allows commuters to order groceries online and pick them up at one of five Go Transit stations in the Greater Toronto Area the next day.

“This is a logical extension of our increasingly popular e-commerce services, and the growing customer appeal for ordering groceries online and picking them up when it’s most convenient,” said Jeremy Pee, the company’s senior vice-president of e-commerce, in a statement. The company partnered with Metrolinx, an Ontario government agency that co-ordinates and integrates transportation modes in the GTA and Hamilton area.

The partnership will initially start with stations in Bronte, Oakville, Rouge Hill, Whitby and Clarkson, the company said, but Loblaw plans to expand to additional sites in the region. Groceries will come from nearby Fortinos or Loblaws stores, and will be waiting in a special delivery truck, in lockers or in an enclosed kiosk, Loblaw said.

The service is an extension of the company’s click-and-collect offering as it allows customers who travel on Go Transit a pick-up option that doesn’t require them to adjust their daily commute, Loblaw said. Loblaw launched click-and-collect in 2014 and now offers the online order, in-store pick up service at 300 of its stores. The company is rolling out that service at a rapid clip, with about one new store offering click-and-collect every day.

Finally some relief for harried workday consumers who ride the rails. Many grocery chains are implementing mobile ordering for either pick-up or delivery, but Loblaw is setting up a creative partnership with the local transit agency. This will save commuters an extra trip to the grocery store with one caveat—just don’t miss your stop on the train ride home.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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