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This article was published 12/10/2017 (253 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
By the end of this month, customers will be able to order their groceries online from all 11 Real Canadian Superstore outlets in Manitoba.
The only two Superstore outlets that don’t already offer the company’s click-and-collect service — 550 Kenaston Blvd. and 1035 Gateway Rd. — will be rolling it out within the next two weeks, the company’s vice-president of operations for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario said Wednesday.
"Our customers enjoy click-and-collect. The ease of the shopping is there for them," Jonathan Carroll said during a tour of the company’s largest Manitoba store, located at 1385 Sargent Ave. "So we are expanding that part of the business."
The click-and-collect service allows customers to order their groceries online. A store employee will fill their order and bring it out to their vehicle when they arrive later to pick it up. The store charges a "convenience fee" of $3 to $5 for the service, depending on the time of day, and orders must be placed at least four hours before the designated pick-up time.
When Superstore first introduced the service at two of its Winnipeg stores in May of last year, a spokewoman said the company wasn’t sure how many of its Manitoba outlets would be offering it.
"It’s not something for every store," she said. "We listen to our customers and we want to go where they want us to be. But what the future holds, I don’t know just yet."
However, with the growing popularity of online grocery shopping, it made sense to expand the new service throughout the company’s local retail network, which includes eight big-box stores in Winnipeg and one each in Brandon, Steinbach and Winkler.
Many of the mainstream grocery chains, as well as a number of local independent grocers, now offer some form of online shopping for the customers. In some cases, customers have to pick up their orders, and in a few cases they can have them delivered to their door.
As a sign of the changing times within the grocery retailing sector, industry giant Walmart continues to beef up its U.S. online shopping operations and scale back its new store growth as it gears up to do battle with online behemoth Amazon.com, which plans to disrupt the grocery business with its recent purchase of Whole Foods.
But Carroll maintained Superstore isn’t expanding its online shopping service in Manitoba because that’s what its competitors are doing. It’s expanding it because that’s what its customers want.
He said customer demand is what drives most of Superstore’s retailing decisions. And some of the key things customers are demanding these days are quality products, broader selection, value for their money and ease of shopping.
All of those things factored into the company’s decision to undertake a 14-week renovation of its 12-year-old Sargent Avenue store. The renovations, which will be wrapping up this week, include relocating or reconfiguring some departments, adding new coolers, display cases and lighting fixtures, and expanding the store’s produce, natural foods, seafood and multicultural food offerings.
The Sargent Avenue store is the only local Superstore outlet undergoing a full renovation this year, although a number of others have been undergoing mini-renovations.
Updated on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 10:37 AM CDT: Adds photo