The gorilla in the retail grocery sector is Amazon. With its purchase of Whole Foods Inc. earlier this year, the pace of change has quickened. In the last month, Canada’s top three grocers have announced investments in broadening e-commerce.
On November 24, Sobeys Inc. announced it is letting go 800 employees, representing 20 per cent of its office staff across Canada. It’s a surgical move to slice $500 million in costs in two years. At the same time, CEO Michael Medline has indicated a push to home delivery service. While click-and-collect services have met with favour in other grocery chains, Medline says that home delivery is the must-win battle for the wallets of convenience-minded consumers.
Loblaw has announced online grocery delivery service for Toronto. Watch for the rollout on December 6.
Metro says 60 per cent of Quebec’s 8.2 million consumers will have access to click-and-collect service by the end of December 2017. The grocer has expanded its Montreal service to Quebec City. No launch date has been announced for Ontario.
Current statistics show that e-commerce represents 0.8 per cent of Canada’s $100 billion grocery sector, but that number is expected to grow to 2.5 per cent in five years