Wal­mart Canada can­cels gro­cery pickup fee, two years after launch­ing ser­vice

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS -

TORONTO — Wal­mart Canada is can­celling a fee it charges shop­pers who or­der gro­ceries online for pickup in stores. The re­tail gi­ant had charged cus­tomers $2.97 for the ser­vice when it launched it in July 2015 in Ot­tawa.

The online gro­cery pickup ser­vice later ex­panded to the Greater Toronto Area, Cal­gary and Ed­mon­ton.

The move comes as gro­cers brace for in­creas­ing com­pe­ti­tion, par­tic­u­larly online, in a busi­ness where profit mar­gins can be thin.

In June, Ama­zon an­nounced a US$13.7-bil­lion deal to buy Whole Foods, an ac­qui­si­tion that some in­dus­try ob­servers say could up­end the su­per­mar­ket sec­tor.

Ex­perts have said the move could force Cana­dian gro­cery chains, some of which have been slow to em­brace ecom­merce com­pared to their U.S. coun­ter­parts, to boost their online ser­vices.

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