DoorDash will soon deliver Loblaw groceries to Winnipeggers homes within 30 minutes.

DoorDash will soon deliver Loblaw groceries to Winnipeggers homes within 30 minutes.

The tech company announced its collaboration with Loblaws, which encompasses retailers such as Real Canadian Superstore and Shoppers Drug Mart, on Wednesday.

Beginning in August, customers can expect deliveries in roughly 30 minutes or less by ordering through PC Express Rapid Delivery.

Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto and Kitchener are among the areas to first launch the initiative, according to a Loblaw spokesperson.

"Winnipeg is a net new market for rapid delivery," the spokesperson wrote in an email. "In addition to wanting to offer customers in Winnipeg more options, it’s a good place for us to learn more about customer needs."

The company plans to expand to other cities over time.

"Through this collaboration with Loblaw, we are addressing consumers’ need to ‘get it now,’" Shilpa Arora, DoorDash Canada’s general manager, said in a news release.

The pandemic impacted how Canadians shop for groceries, a Loblaw spokesperson wrote. The retailer experienced many customers ordering pick-up and home delivery through PC Express.

"I think, essentially, Loblaw needed to do something," said Sylvain Charlebois, a food distribution and policy professor at Dalhousie University. "Expectations are changing quite rapidly."

The pandemic accelerated usage of grocery delivery services, he said.

Charlebois noted the collaboration is "moving the benchmark" by offering deliveries within 30 minutes.

This is likely the future of grocery shopping, he said. He estimates 10 per cent of all food retail business will be virtual by 2025.

Loblaw’s partnership with DoorDash is not a significant investment in the delivery space, the professor said.

"They’re basically dealing with a third party — a well-established one that has been able to execute on a variety of fronts," Charlebois said.

Loblaw may end the deal with DoorDash and build their own infrastructure if their grocery delivery really takes off, Charlebois said.

Most of Canada’s major retailers have e-commerce options. Walmart is among those to offer online orders for store pick-up and home delivery.

Delivery apps known for providing restaurant meals have been expanding into the grocery market. For example, Winnipeggers can grab milk and bread through Uber Eats.

Both DoorDash and SkipTheDishes deliver groceries via their own stockrooms. In December, DoorDash announced it was bringing DashMart to Winnipeg. More than 2,000 items, including household goods, would be available after the rollout.

Meanwhile, SkipTheDishes’s Express Lane has been in Winnipeg for nearly a year. It boasts roughly 1,500 offerings and deliveries within 25 minutes of orders being placed.

Skip reported a 900 per cent increase in year over year demand over the course of the pandemic after it started partnering with local retailers to get products to doors.

Beginning in July, Loblaw customers will be able to order Loblaw products on the DoorDash Marketplace app. The tech company will also offer same-day delivery for Loblaw grocery and convenience items through PCExpress.ca.

Loblaw is Canada’s largest retailer. It owns more than 1,050 grocery stores.

gabrielle.piche@winnipegfreepress.com

Gabrielle Piché

Gabrielle Piché
Reporter

Gabby is a big fan of people, writing and learning. She graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in the spring of 2020.