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Loblaw looks for an edge with technology

Despite the growth of ecommerce in Canada and strides made by the Big Three (Loblaw, Metro, and Sobeys), all have reportedly lost market share to the expanding presence of Costco and Walmart.

And while Loblaw has multiple ecommerce portals and offers a wide range of products in grocery and beyond, will its existing network of brick and mortar stores be able to consistently serve online shoppers in an omnichannel manner? Will it be able to not only retain but potentially grow its share of the Canadian market?

According to Bill Bishop, cofounder of Brick Meets Click, Loblaw is much more than a successful company. The company has continually innovated its product line, investing in fashion and drug stores, and has “tremendous focus, running some very good stores practically from coast to coast throughout Canada.”

In addition, he said, “Loblaw is analytically oriented and has pushed into ecommerce, including produce, which is one of their most important departments.”

Bishop sees technology as a key differentiator for Loblaw. “People are preparing for a time when consumers will have confidence to do more and more of their grocery shopping online.”

A case in point is long-running grocery delivery service Peapod, LLC, based in Chicago and owned by Ahold Delhaize, which has built an exceptional base of loyal customers according to Bishop, due to its high standards and quality of its products.

What’s more, last summer, Peapod’s top half-dozen delivered products were produce items.

This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full supplement.