Canadian food and drug retailer Loblaw Cos. has introduced beer and wine pickup at selected stores in Ontario.
Through the PC Express e-grocery service, customers in the province can now place beer and wine orders online and pick them up at 152 participating Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Your Independent Grocer, Zehrs, Fortinos and No Frills locations, Brampton, Ontario-based Loblaw said this week.
Canada’s largest grocer said the alcoholic beverage click-and-collect service comes after a recent provincial regulatory change in Ontario. Customers must be age 19 and older to buy alcohol via PC Express, and they will be required to present valid identification when picking up their order. Store associates bringing orders to customers at PC Express pickup sites be “Smart Serve Certified,” according to Loblaw.
Customers must be 19 and older to purchase beer and wine via PC Express and will need to present ID to store associates bringing their pickup order. (Photo courtesy of No Frills)
“Getting ready for the holidays can be busy enough and adding multiple stops for groceries, beer and wine doesn’t help,” Rohit Sriram, vice president and general manager of online grocery at Loblaw Cos., said in a statement. “This one-stop-shop service will help customers spend less time running between stores and more time doing what really matters most this holiday season.”
In reporting fiscal 2021 third-quarter results last month, Loblaw Chief Financial Officer Richard Dufresne noted that food-at-home purchases remain elevated despite somewhat of a relaxation in COVID-19 restrictions.
“Entertaining at home is helping drive sales in food retail,” Dufresne told analysts in a conference call. “On a two-year average, food same-store sales reflected average growth of 3.6%.”
E-commerce sales were virtually flat in the third quarter but up nearly 175% on a two-year stack, boosted by a robust prior-year performance.
“Online is here to stay, although penetration in grocery has eased since the peak, driven by lockdowns. Customers expect us to offer a seamless experience whether in-store or online,” Dufresne said. “We are confident that online will play an important part in the future of our business. Speed and convenience are the way to win, and I’m confident that over time we’ll be able to improve the profitability gap as technology and new ways of doing things will reduce the cost structure of this channel.”
Overall, Loblaw’s retail network encompasses 2,439 stores, including 550 corporate-owned and 546 franchised grocery stores under more than a dozen banners and 1,343 Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix associate-owned drugstores.