WINNIPEG —; Whether it’s clothes or electronics, you can buy almost anything online these days. Now one megastore chain is hoping shoppers will head online for their groceries.
Loblaw’s Superstore launched its “click-and-collect” service in Winnipeg Thursday.
The concept is simple. Shoppers go online and choose from more than 20,000 items on the store’s website, including everything from produce and meat to diapers and toilet paper. The service allows shoppers to fill their grocery list online with all of the same prices and promotions available in store.
“We want to be everywhere the customer wants to be,” said Lauren Steinberg, director of e-commerce marketing for Loblaw’s Superstore.
READ MORE: Online grocery shopping ‘gathering momentum in Canada’
An employee will work their way through the list and gather your purchases. The shopper will get an estimated price and a two-hour window for when they can pick up their purchases.
“Everyone is time starved and this ultimately allows you to save time,” said Steinberg. “It’s really popular with moms, busy moms with several kids. (It’s) hard to navigate the store with your children, bring them in and out of the car. It’s here to eliminate some of those pain points.”
When you arrive at the store, there are designated parking spots right out front and you head straight inside to pay.
“For grocery stores this is the wave of the future,” said economist Rob Warren. “We don’t plan out as much as we used to. We are much more spur of the moment and we live everything by a mobile device. It’s a great example of the concept of the internet of everything.”
READ MORE: Loblaw gears up for online grocery orders
Many big box stores attempted to bring in online grocery shopping more than 25 years ago, but technology and delivery services were not perfectly ironed out. This newer concept that combines online shopping with set pick up times (instead of home delivery time frame windows) makes the experience much more user friendly, according to some experts.
“I think it’s going to appeal to a certain group… that new millennial customer that lives and dies by what lives on their phone,” said Warren. “It takes away what they would consider to be a mundane worry. ‘What do I have in the cupboard or I’m sitting at work and I have to fix dinner.’ For them to just drop by and pick it up is the perfect solution and it’s just the natural evolution.”
Each of the Loblaw Superstore locations offering the service has hired 10-12 new personal shoppers to fill orders.
Depending on the pickup time chosen, a $3-$5 service charge will be added to your bill.
The program has been rolled out over the past 18 month starting in Toronto and is operating in stores across Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and now Manitoba.
Click-and-collect is available at two Winnipeg locations (at Portage Avenue and Bison Drive locations) as of right now but will be rolled out at other locations in coming months.