Sobeys unveils online home delivery brand

Voilà by Sobeys is powered by Ocado and will offer up to 39,000 products when it launches next year
Empire Company Limited unveiled Voilà by Sobeys and Voilà par IGA, the name and brand for its online grocery home delivery service for the Greater Toronto Area (launching 2020), as well as Ottawa and major cities in the Province of Quebec (launching 2021)

Sobeys has unveiled the name and
brand for its online home delivery service that is slated to launch in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) next year. The grocery company also announced the service would be expanding to the Ottawa area and "major cities in Quebec" in 2021.

Called Voilà by Sobeys (Voilà par IGA in Quebec), the service powered by British company Ocado Group will offer up to 39,000 products including fresh produce. Orders for the GTA will be filled through an automated warehouse in Vaughan, which is still under construction and costing the company an estimated $95 million to build.

A second customer fulfillment centre (CFC) will open in the Montreal suburb of Pointe-Claire to serve the Ottawa and Quebec markets. The company said it expected the cost of the Montreal CFC to "be consistent or less than Vaughan." The majority of the investment, however, will fall on Crombie REIT which will develop and own the warehouse. Each CFC is expected to create 1,500 jobs.

READ: A sneak peek at the future of grocery automation in Canada

In a press release announcing the service name and brand, Sarah Joyce, SVP, e-commerce for Sobeys' parent company Empire, said a home delivery experience such as this one doesn't yet exist in Canada.

"While most players in the industry are focused on store pick models to fulfill their online orders, we are building automated warehouses specifically designed for best-in-class home delivery based on a highly successful model from the U.K.," she said.

Canadian grocers have been ramping up their online efforts since Amazon acquired Whole Foods nearly two years ago. Costco introduced online grocery for customers in Southwestern Ontario, Longo's expanded its Grocery Gateway facility in Toronto to double its online inventory to more than 18,000 items, while Loblaws and Save-On-Foods, have increased the number of stores offering online pick-up.

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