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April 04, 2021

Walmart to try its hand at online grocery delivery: report

At its worst times, grocery stores are up there with health card offices and ER waiting rooms as the most terrible places in Canada.

But what would you pay to avoid them?

Grocery delivery services, which save you the graces of magazine covers like this, are nothing new, though their online incarnation has gotten a boost lately with news Walmart may be considering its own Web business.

According to Bloomberg News, the retail giant has discussed launching an online grocery service in San Jose, Calif., to test if the business is viable.

Whether or not “Project Titan,” as it’s reportedly been dubbed within the company, actually happens for Walmart, it’s an intriguing service to consider nonetheless.

While grocery shopping may be a chore to many, delivery companies haven’t exactly knocked their idea out of the park. Countless services, like Peapod and Webvan (which went spectacularly bankrupt in 2001), have tried their hand at the market but haven’t been able to corner more than a few select cities at once.

Even big-name companies such as Amazon, which runs the Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service in Seattle, hasn’t been able to branch out; consumers, though they may jump at the chance to have someone else perform any other errand on their to-do list, appear reluctant to outsource grocery shopping.

But Walmart is a different beast, of course, so maybe it will take a machine this big to give the online grocery delivery biz the jolt it needs to get going.

Just as a background on the idea, such services usually charge $10-$20 on top of your grocery bill to deliver your goods (OnlineGrocer.ca, which services Ottawa, only bills $12). There have been no figures tossed around for what Walmart may charge.

If you ask many Canadians, $12 is probably a very reasonable price if it means keeping them out of the grocery store after a hard day’s work.

So, should Walmart enter the sector, would you give online grocery delivery services a try? If so, how much would you be willing to pay to have grub brought to your home?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money

*Follow Jason on Twitter here.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...