Loblaws launches same-day home delivery

You won’t need to stand in line at the Loblaws checkout anymore – Instacart will now do it for you. (Bon Appetit)

Staring down competition from Amazon and Walmart, you can now get Loblaws groceries delivered straight to your door.

Beginning Dec. 6, Instacart will be providing delivery services for Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore and T&T stores in Toronto. The service will launch this January in Vancouver, and there are plans to expand to more regions in Canada through 2018.

Loblaw is partnering with Instacart to fulfill delivery orders. The service is already available in more than 150 U.S. regions. This will be the first international expansion for Instacart.

“Entering our first international market with national icons like Loblaw and its President’s Choice brand is a strong starting point for both our company and the local customers we aim to serve,” said Apoorva Mehta, CEO of Instacart, in a press release. “I grew up in Canada and know firsthand the appeal of these supermarkets and brands. I also know that our Instacart technology and service will meaningfully add to their appeal and convenience.”

Customers can place their order online, and have it delivered in as little as one hour, or order delivery up to a week in advance. Delivery costs $3.99 (the first order is free). Customers have the option of upgrading to Instacart Express, which gives unlimited free deliveries (minimum order $35), the option to shop from multiple stores, and does not charge “busy pricing” (during particularly busy periods, an additional fee may be added to the order, and will be noted when you put together your order). Instacart Express costs $9.99/month, or $99 annually. All orders must be a minimum of $10.

Grocery delivery in Canada is nothing new. Grocery Gateway was purchased by Longo’s in 2004, and was heavily invested in by the grocer in 2016. The warehouse was expanded to 150,000 square feet (from 50,000) and as of November 2016, more than 6,000 families were ordering weekly in Southern Ontario.

Global brands like Walmart and Amazon have also been offering grocery delivery to Canadians. Walmart Canada started delivering the Greater Toronto Area in March 2017 via local delivery partners JoeyCo and Daily Delivery. While Amazon’s Amazon Fresh service is not yet available in Canada, the now Amazon-owned Whole Foods will deliver to Canadians.

Where this latest venture differs is in size: whereas Whole Foods only has 13 locations in Canada and Longo’s has 30 stores in Southern Ontario, Loblaw operates 2,500 stores across Canada. Customers will have access to up to 30,000 products, depending on the store they order from, compared to the 16,000 available via the Grocery Gateway warehouse (as of 2016).

Grocery pickup is currently available through both Loblaw-owned stores and Walmart locations, too.

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