Loblaws plans to try drive-thru grocery system

by | Sep 25, 2014 | Biz/Tech, News

Loblaws grocery store

Photo via Creative Commons

By Chantilly Post

Loblaws is making headlines this week with news the grocery giant wants to create a drive through grocery service at one of its stores north of Toronto.

A drive-thru method, where customers can order their groceries online and have them loaded in their car from a designated parking area will be a new method of grocery shopping, the company said.

“The whole idea of the service is to offer tremendous convenience and to cut down on the time it takes to grocery shop,” Loblaw spokesperson Kevin Groh said.

Groh could not comment on a set date for full operations, but says the first location will be in Richmond Hill, Ont. as a trial.

The click-and-collect program is a service well known in Europe but will be new to Canada. In France alone, one in five consumers report that they have used the service, a grocery expert told Humber News on Thursday.

Rob Gerlsbeck, editor at Canadian Grocer and expert on how people shop and buy food, says he doesn’t know if the service will be popular but he does think people will start to gravitate to buying groceries online.

“The average family with kids buys groceries two or three times a week,” Gerlsbeck said. The click-and-collect service can make this job faster and more efficient.

Different costs

When it comes to having groceries delivered or picking them up in a drive-thru matter, the services differ by the cost.

“The expensive part is putting [groceries] in a truck and having one person drive to x number [of homes],” Gerlsbeck said. “It can be very convenient to have them delivered to your door, but it can also be inconvenient.”

With having groceries delivered, customers would have to be home during a certain time window. But with picking them up by a drive-thru system, customers can pop by when they are already on the road.

“In a fast paced city like Toronto I think [click-and-collect] will be really popular,” first year Film and Television Production student Brittany Rose said.

Rose says the system is efficient for those who don’t have time to do those day-today chores, but it could cut people off from society.