Nfld. & Labrador

Online grocery shopping options growing in N.L.

Loblaws expanded its online grocery service to Newfoundland and Labrador on Tuesday, but the national grocery chain in still playing catch up with locally-owned businesses.

2 St. John's Dominion locations the latest stores to offer service

Loblaws expanded its online grocery shopping service to two of its St. John's Dominion locations on Tuesday. The company said all its stores in the province will provide the service by mid-May. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

Loblaws expanded its online grocery service to Newfoundland and Labrador on Tuesday, but the national grocery chain in still playing catch up with locally-owned businesses.

The new service allows customers to shop for their groceries online and then arrange a time to pick up their order without having to leave their vehicle.

"They place their order, give us two hours notice, they pick a two-hour time slot that suits them best and we'll go and do all their shopping for them," said Loblaw spokesperson Adam Jardine.

"We'll load their groceries directly into their car."

Adam Jardine is director of digital marketing, e-commerce with Loblaw. He said the company is fine tuning the service to ensure its offerings reflect all the local favourites and best-selling brands. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

The new online service began at Dominion's Blackmarsh Road and Memorial Stadium locations in St. John's on Tuesday, with a $3 fee for most orders, $5 during peak shopping hours.

The company promises the service will make its consumers' lives easier. It also promises customers won't see a drop in the quality of goods provided.

There's a 72-hour "freshness guarantee," and a phone line for customers with complaints.

"When we looked at this, we knew that if we didn't get freshness right we didn't really have a service," Jardine said. "So we just don't chose good, we chose great every single time and that's very intentional."

Ordering online gives customers their own personal shopper to pick up the items on their grocery list. The company is also offering a 72-hour freshness guarantee. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

Jardine said the online service has been popular on the mainland and is promising it will be expanded to all other Dominion locations in this province by mid-May.

Following in footsteps of Colemans, Belbin's

Loblaws is following in the footsteps of some locally owned grocery stores who have offered a similar service for years. 

Belbin's Grocery in St. John's has long allowed customers to place orders via phone and have their groceries delivered right to their doors — store staff even pack them away in the kitchens and pantries of some customers.

The online ordering service promises to "pick, pack and deliver" your groceries for under $5.

Online shopping has been a hit at Coleman's grocery stories in the province, said Corey Conrad, manager of the chain's Mount Pearl location. Coleman's first offered the service back in early 2011. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

Meanwhile, Colemans offers online shopping at its grocery stores in Corner Brook, Mount Pearl, Deer Lake, Stephenville and St. John's. It's offered the service since early 2011 and also provides delivery for a small fee. There's no added cost to pick it up in store.

"Our home shopping orders are used by many types of customers, from the elderly to people who are home sick that day or somebody who just doesn't have the time to get out and do their shopping," said Corey Conrad,  manager of the Colemans Mount Pearl store.

"It's another way to access our customer base. It's another way for our customers to get what they're looking for when they want it, how they want it."