Walmart partners with Penguin Pick-Up

Two co-branded locations expand the retailer's reach into areas of Toronto where access to its grocery offering is limited.
Penguin Walmart2

Venturing further into the grocery delivery space, Walmart Canada has partnered with Penguin Pick-Up on the latter’s first co-branded locations, bringing the total number of Toronto centres offering Walmart grocery pickup to seven.

The new pick up centres will serve as a hub for Walmart’s direct-to-home grocery delivery in Toronto, as customers living within certain regions of the city can pick up the groceries from the centres themselves, or have their orders delivered from the hub to their door through local delivery partners. The new locations are just one part of the retailer’s grocery strategy in urban areas, according to Daryl Porter, VP of omni-channel operations at Walmart Canada.

In the absence of Walmart Supercentres – which offer a range of grocery items including fresh produce, baked goods, deli meat and dairy products – the Walmart/Penguin Pick-Up locations give customers in urban areas greater access to the retailer’s grocery offering.

The centres “were designed with an urban customer in mind and are more contemporary in feel,” says Porter. “Our focus right now is on making sure these pickup locations in Toronto are working for our customers in the Toronto-area.” He says the company is alway open to new opportunities, but there are no plans for other co-branded locations at this time.

Although the two locations are the only ones to bear Walmart’s name on the storefront, customers can pick up non-grocery Walmart purcahses from any one of the 76 Penguin Pick-Up centres in Canada (including 37 in the GTA).

Egil Moller Nielsen, SVP and head of Penguin Pick-Up and Penguin Fresh, says the centres are located within highly dense areas of the city, where there’s less access to traditional grocery shopping. The first, located on Queens Quay, is on the ground floor of a condo complex. The other, located at Yonge and Eglinton, is in the basement of an office tower surrounded by condo buildings and apartments (although Loblaws recently opened a new location on the second floor of a condo building across the street, while Metro operates a location in the basement of the nearby Yonge Eglinton Centre).

With Penguin Pick-Up, customers can order products online from virtually any retailer and pick them up at their convenience, free of charge. In addition to its partnership with Walmart, the company has a number of “direct links” to other retailers, including FedEx, Toys R Us, Tom & Sawyer, Real Food Toronto and Fresh City.

Walmart is promoting the new locations through a larger omni-channel marketing campaign focused on grocery pickup and delivery.