Metro, Giant Tiger and Dollarama join Instacart

The addition of more grocery and specialty retailers is the latest sign the ultra-fast delivery economy is still heating up.

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Metro and discounters Dollarama and Giant Tiger are among the group of retailers that have been added to same-day delivery service, Instacart.

The other retailers added include specialty food and grocery stores Galleria Supermarket, Dolce & Gourmondo, Nature’s Emporium, Super Natural Market and Grande Cheese Markets. It has also brought on sports nutrition retailers Popeye’s Supplements and Healthy Planet and pet retailer Menagerie Pet Shop. Like Dollarama, arts and crafts retailer Michaels and office supplies retailer Staples were already available on the platform, but have expanded their partnerships to include next-day delivery.

Instacart, which already partners with the top five grocer banners nationwide, including Costco, Loblaw and Walmart, says that it is now available to approximately 90% of Canadian households and all 10 provinces.

Customers in Ontario can shop from Metro’s selection of about 26,000 grocery and pharmacy items to be delivered in as quickly as one hour, part of the ultra fast grocery economy that’s come north, and that includes even speedier 15-minute service offerings such as Tiggy, a “dark store” operator that carries about 2,000 grocery items.

To get a better sense of ecommerce trends in North American grocery, consultancy McKinsey conducted research on retailers and consumers surveying 31 CEOs as well as 25 C-level executives, directors and VPs, augmenting its data with extensive insights from surveys conducted among consumers in the U.S. (4,691 respondents), Mexico (1,005), and Canada (967).

According to experts McKinsey surveyed, the industry is now on the “edge of the next transformation” in ecommerce: grocery executives expect penetration to more than double for their own organizations in the next three to five years, to an average of 23%.

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In its recent earnings call, for example, Loblaw says its digital businesses delivered $3 billion in sales over the last 12 months. And CEO Galen Weston announced the grocer is further expanding its local store-based offering, expanding PC Express same-day service to over 300 stores, and saying it’s “still seeing significant growth in our proprietary delivery channel.”

For grocers, McKinsey notes, omnichannel has become table stakes, as they experiment with new ways to engage shoppers in omnichannel. Pure-play, first-party online grocers have the opportunity to make headway by deploying different delivery models (such as a scheduled, milk-run approach), expanding their offerings to address more need states and occasions, and further distinguishing themselves from traditional competitors, for example, through subscription models.

It says grocers can also differentiate their offerings by assortment authority – including breadth, depth and brands covered – and experiment with adopting social-first, video-first offerings to better engage with consumers.