Loblaw launches online marketplace

Stewart Samuel
Program Director - Canada

Date : 21 November 2019

Loblaw is extending the range of products that it offers online through the development of an online marketplace.

Extended range and supplier partnerships

Through this new marketplace, Loblaw will offer an extended range of brands and products across baby, toy, home, kitchen and pet categories. Although the retailer offers a broad general-merchandise offer through its hypermarkets, this will be the largest range available to its customers to date. While this creates additional range opportunities for many of its existing suppliers in these categories, this development also brings new suppliers into the Loblaw universe.

Seamless shopper experience

This development is supported by the retailer’s acquisition of PFTech earlier this year. This enables the online marketplace to be seamlessly integrated within Loblaw’s PC Express platform, creating a positive customer experience. Returns will also be facilitated through its stores. Customers will also be able to earn PC Optimum points on their purchases. Products will be delivered direct-to-home, or available for in-store pickup.

Showcasing marketplace products in-store

The concept of an online marketplace is not new in Canada. In 2017, Walmart launched its marketplace with a view to significantly extend its general merchandise offer. As part of the recent development of its supercentre of the future, the retailer has created dedicated space in-store for brands and products offered through Walmart.ca. Loblaw could also use its larger format stores to showcase some of the new products being made available through its marketplace, including best-selling products.

Building on online grocery leadership

Loblaw will be looking to use the marketplace to advance its ecommerce strategy in Canada. It has built a leadership position in online grocery, with over 700 stores offering pickup. It has also partnered with Instacart to offer home delivery. Recently, it announced plans to partner with Takeoff Technologies to test automated micro-fulfillment which could help to expand capacity and the economics of its offer. The retailer will be hoping that existing grocery ecommerce customers will buy the complementary products offered through the marketplace, increasing their overall spend.

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