Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Walmart to Offer Free Pickup Service for Apparel, General Merchandise

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Walmart to Offer Free Pickup Service for Apparel, General Merchandise

Article excerpt

Walmart to offer free pickup service

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TORONTO - Walmart Canada Corp. is rolling out a free pickup service for online orders at all of its Canadian stores by the end of the week.

"All the general merchandise and apparel goods that we used to send by traditional carrier are now going through our trucks going to our stores and now customers can pick up those products for free," the company's vice-president of omnichannel and online grocery Daryl Porter at the eTail Canada conference Thursday in Toronto.

The discount department store has a wider selection of goods online that is not carried in stores, and the pickup service offers customers the option to have those shipped to the store of their choice, Porter said. The service also allows customers to save on delivery fees by grabbing their orders at the nearest store.

"Customers are making so many trips to our stores anyways. It's about unlocking that value for them," Porter said.

It will be handy for customers who avoid home delivery over concerns about unattended packages left on their doorstep, or for people who want to make sure a gift is not accidentally intercepted by the intended recipient, he added.

The new service comes after the company started offering grocery pickup in select markets, beginning with Ottawa in 2015, about a year after Loblaw rolled out a similar program in the Toronto area. Walmart Canada has since expanded it to areas including the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary and Edmonton.

The company cancelled the $2.97 charge for customers who order groceries online and pick them up in stores last August after internal studies suggested it prevented some people from using the service.

Competition in the online pick up and delivery business is heating up as retailers scramble to compete against e-commerce giant Amazon.

Canada's grocers, especially, have doubled down on expanding their e-commerce offerings in response to Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods Market, including its 13 Canadian locations, last year. …

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