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Walmart expands online grocery pickup in Canada

Mobile check-in rolls out to more stores, Pickup Tower pilots planned

Walmart Canada has launched online grocery pickup at 22 more stores, including the first locations in Atlantic Canada.

The retailer also said it has made Mobile Check-in service available at the 22 stores and plans to test Pickup Towers in two Ontario stores.

The new Walmart Grocery Pickup locations include stores in Quebec City; Regina, Saskatchewan; Victoria, British Columbia; Halifax, Dartmouth and Bedford, Nova Scotia; and Moncton and Dieppe, New Brunswick. Through the free service, shoppers place their online grocery orders via Walmart.ca/Grocery or the Walmart mobile app and pick them up on the same day at their selected store.

Customers can shop for fresh fruit and vegetables, including organic produce, as well as Canadian AAA Angus beef, pork, chicken and seafood; dairy; baked goods; deli; frozen food; health and beauty aids; household supplies; diapers and baby food; and pet food. The minimum online grocery order is $50 before taxes. Walmart personal shoppers pick and pack the orders. To pick up their groceries, customers go to their chosen store at the scheduled time, park in a designated pickup parking spot and inform an associate of their arrival. Their order then is brought out and loaded into their vehicle.

With the Mobile Check-in feature, available through the Walmart app, shoppers get a push notification 30 minutes before their scheduled pickup time that prompts them to check in with a single tap. Walmart associates then receive a notification when customers are 10 minutes away from the store, enabling their orders to be ready upon arrival. Walmart said it plans to bring the check-in feature to all Walmart Canada Grocery Pickup stores next year.

In early 2019, Walmart also aims to introduce Pickup Towers in the Canadian market through pilots at stores in Oakville and Mississauga, Ontario. The 16-foot units can dispense online general merchandise orders in less than a minute, according to the company.

“Walmart is always looking for innovative approaches to help our customers save time and money, and we're constantly trying new things,” Walmart Canada President and CEO Lee Tappenden said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to offer the Mobile Check-in technology to customers, potentially shaving valuable minutes off their online grocery pickup experience. Early next year, we’ll also trial Pickup Towers, another way we are using our stores to offer convenience and time saving options to our customers.”

Earlier this month, Walmart announced a $175 million investment in its Canadian store network, including plans to upgrade nearly two dozen stores in six provinces to create a more seamless omnichannel shopping experience.

Mississauga-based Walmart Canada, which has 411 stores overall, has said it expects to roll out Walmart Grocery Pickup to 73 more stores in 2018, which will lift the number of click-and-collect stores to 165 by the end of the year.

In September, Walmart Canada began pilots of same-day grocery delivery at 12 stores in the Toronto area and five stores in Winnipeg under a new partnership with Instacart. Also last month, the retailer kicked off a sustainable online grocery delivery service in metropolitan Vancouver through Food-X Urban Delivery Inc., part of Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery Inc. (SPUD), one of Canada’s biggest online grocery companies.

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