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Online grocery: Who’s doing what?

With the delivery wars heating up, we look at what services the big players are offering

Costco recently
introduced online grocery for customers in Southern Ontario, with plans to eventually roll out the service throughout the rest of the province and Quebec. Costco is one of the last major grocers to introduce an online shopping option. Here’s an overview of who’s doing what:


Currently offers online shopping from seven so-called “hub” stores in Montreal, Quebec City and Gatineau, covering off approximately 60% of the province’s population. Recently updated the service to offer same-day pick-up and delivery for all orders placed before 1 p.m. CEO Eric La Flèche told analysts last year that he hoped to introduce online grocery shopping in Ontario either late in fiscal 2018, or early in fiscal 2019.

Loblaw Companies Limited

Canada’s largest grocer continues to grow its PC Express click-and-collect business, with plans to add 500 new pick-up sites in grocery stores, GO Train stations and Shoppers Drug Mart locations this year. Partnered with the U.S. online delivery service Instacart to offer delivery from its Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore and T&T banners to customers in Toronto and Vancouver late last year, and added five Ontario markets including Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara, the Ottawa region and Guelph this year. “We will blanket the country with an online grocery service in 2018,” CEO Galen Weston told analysts in May.


Currently operates the Grocery Gateway delivery service, one of the very first entrants in the grocery delivery space. The family-owned company expanded Grocery Gateway’s Toronto facility from 47,000 to 150,000 sq. ft. last year, enabling it to double its online inventory to more than 18,000 items and grow product lines such as frozen and produce. It also acquired the business-to-business focused grocery delivery service, and embarked on a test of a click-and-collect service with Penguin Pick-Up at locations in Toronto and Oakville.


Announced a partnership with UK company Ocado Group--which specializes in online ordering, fulfillment automation and delivery--earlier this year. The company is building an automated customer fulfillment centre in Toronto, and says it plans to introduce home delivery across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) by spring 2020. “Sobeys intends to play to win in Canadian online grocery shopping,” said president and CEO Michael Medline earlier this year.


The company introduced home delivery to select GTA locations early in 2017 and partnered with SPUD’s Food-X Urban Delivery service--which operates a 74,000-sq.-ft. warehouse facility--to provide online grocery to Vancouver residents earlier this year. It also has a robust click-and-collect business, with plans to double the number of pick-up points it operates this year. As of February, it had 70 stores in three provinces offering online pick-up. It has also partnered with Penguin Pick-Up to offer pick-up at 11 SmartCentres throughout the GTA.


In 2017, the Western Canada-based banner expanded its online pick-up and delivery service to cities in the B.C. interior and Okanagan. As of late last year, 63 stores across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were offering click and collect.

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