Walmart Canada is using Instacart and in-store picking to offer 30-minute delivery to customers in the Great Toronto Area.
The pilot program, called Walmart Now, is part of the company’s expansion of its omnichannel e-commerce capabilities.
Laurent Duray, Walmart Canada’s chief e-commerce officer called the program a milestone in the company’s plans to “drive change in the eCommerce space”.
About 40 percent of Greater Toronto Area households will be able to use the service. It makes almost 4,000 grocery and household SKUs available to customers. They will be picked from 10 existing stores in the area. Instacart uses Carrot Storefront, part of the Instacart Platform.
“Customers today expect convenience and quick delivery paired with broad selection. We know these components are fundamental as retailers seek to build the best online grocery experience for their customers,” said Chris Rogers, vice-president of retail at Instacart.
Walmart Canada is in the midst of a $3.5 billion spending plan to overhaul its online and in-store shopping to provide the kind of e-commerce speed consumers expect.
To support its promise of home delivery for 85 percent of Canadians the company is building a new fulfillment centre in Rocky View County, Alberta, outside of Calgary.
The fulfillment centre will be approximately 430,000 square feet, and will be a delivery hub for Western Canada. It is slated to open in September 2022.
The $118-million facility will be the first at Walmart Canada to use robotic technology from GreyOrange. It will have capacity to store 500,000 items to fulfill direct to home and in-store pickup orders.
In 2021 the retailer built its first fully automated fulfillment center inside its Scarborough West Supercentre in the Greater Toronto Area.
The 22,000 square foot space, automates online grocery picking and dispensing, with picking speeds up to six times faster than manual-store picking.
The new space also includes a first for a big grocery retailer in Canada: automated kiosks that serve as vending machines for online grocery orders and can serve up to five customers simultaneously. The automation was developed in partnership with Dematic.