Delivery service caters to Costco lovers in downtown Toronto brings Costco’s suburban shopping experience to urbanites

Unlike most shoppers at Costco’s suburban Etobicoke store in Toronto, you won’t find Vitaliy Savitsky hovering around the sample stations, waiting for a cube of cheese or a piece of Krispy Kreme donut.

“I never eat the samples. Never,” says Savitsky, who makes a daily two-hour trip to the Etobicoke Costco to fulfil orders for his grocery delivery service, delivers items from Costco to downtown Toronto residents who love the value that Costco offers but don’t want to make the trek out to the big store.

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A former equity research analyst, Savitsky launched in November in an effort to bring what he calls “smart” grocery shopping to the city’s downtown dwellers.

He and his wife had been living downtown for several years and were growing increasingly frustrated with what Savitsky calls the grocery “oligopoly” that enabled a handful of chains to dictate “premium pricing” for food staples in downtown Toronto.

After comparing prices for approximately 1,000 products between Costco Etobicoke and conventional grocers, Savitsky found that Costco’s prices were considerably less. Savitsky says that he and his wife were “offended” by having to pay so much more for products.

“We swore that we were never going to buy anything downtown—we were always going to buy at Costco,” he says. “We kept going and going, but we were getting tired of the parking, the lineups and the stressful experience of buying things there, so we came up with an idea of getting someone to deliver. And then we thought maybe we could deliver.”

Savitsky says that in addition to the savings on grocery staples such as dairy and meat, avoiding the “stress factor” of shopping at the massive store—the average Costco is 144,000 sq. ft.—is one of the primary reasons has proven popular.

The service has fulfiled approximately 1,300 orders since its November launch, with most of those coming in the past two months as marketing efforts ramped up. Savitsky estimates about one third of orders come from repeat customers. charges a $10 delivery fee (the first delivery is free, with the next two half price), plus what Savitsky describes as a “slight” markup on individual items.

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For example, charges $4.49 for a 454g Natrel salted butter that sells for $3.29 in-store (prices based on our own family’s July 13 trip to Costco’s Etobicoke store), while a 4L bag of Sealtest 2% milk costs $4.49 online compared to $4.25 in-store.’s biggestsellers are Costco’s toilet paper (which also happen to be Costco’s overall bestselling item, with sales of US$400 million in 2015), as well as chicken, avocados and bananas.

Savitsky says that a portion of the markup goes to the credit-card processing fee he pays on each transaction. “It’s not really a markup, it’s just the cost of doing business,” he says.

Savitsky holds an executive membership at Costco, which provides a 2% reward on select annual purchases, up to a maximum of $750. Savitsky says the rewards are just enough to offset the credit-card fees. launched with evening delivery (between 5-11 p.m.) on weekdays and all-day delivery on weekends, but Savitsky is contemplating a new model that will see it deliver strictly to offices during the day and homes in the evening.

Savitsky says customer have asked him to expand the service into other areas of the Greater Toronto Area, such as Mississauga and Scarborough, but for now is catering to the downtown crowd.

WATCH: Meet the man from the mall also enables prospective customers to avoid the annual $55 membership fee required to shop at Costco, although Savitsky doesn’t advertise that fact.

Savitsky says he has been in touch with the manager of Costco’s Etobicoke location, but has never spoken with anyone from the company’s headquarters.

Costco Canada did not respond to Canadian Grocer’s interview request at press time, but a representative told the Toronto Star that the company’s roots are in serving wholesale customers.

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