New Installation - Fresh St. Market, Vancouver

Fresh St Market, Grocery Lockers

Fresh St. Market rolls out click-and-collect service
Published on: April 14, 2016 | Last Updated: April 14, 2016 3:42 PM PDT | Jenny Lee

H.Y. Louie director of marketing Mark McCurdy shows Fresh St. Market's new refrigerated pickup lockers at the Fresh. St. Market in West Vancouver.
Local supermarket Fresh St. Market has raised the bar in Canadian grocery ecommerce by opening 24-hour refrigerated pickup lockers for online customers.
Customers can order online, then punch in a code to pick up their frozen or refrigerated orders at their convenience from lockers in Fresh St. Market’s West Vancouver and Surrey store parking lots.
The company intends to test the lockers for six months with an eye to rolling out a series of off-site lockers if all goes well.
While finding suitable locations for full-sized stores is increasingly difficult, “we can put these lockers anywhere,” H.Y. Louie marketing director Mark McCurdy said. “We’ve already had preliminary discussions about putting lockers at remote sites so consumers can pick up on the way home without going to our store. That’s where the future is. That’s what you find in Europe.”
Australian grocery store Coles has “at least 30” of these lockers in operation at non-store locations, H. Y. Louie digital manager Shawn Cody said.
“Obviously click-and-collect is a big component of most retailing nowadays,” McCurdy said. But picking up during store hours or waiting at home for delivery isn’t always convenient.
In Vancouver, a number of grocers offer variations on online ordering, pick up and delivery, but Fresh St. is the first to offer remote refrigerated lockers tied to smartphone technology, McCurdy said.
Fresh St. Market will charge $3.99 for a personal shopper to pick out groceries and place them in the locker. In comparison, the supermarket’s online order/home delivery fee is $7.95.
“We have shoppers who come to our (West Vancouver) store from Bowen Island,” Cody said. “A significant portion of the population there works in Vancouver. Their lives are dictated by ferry schedules. Placing a locker possibly on Bowen or nearby,” is one possible future scenario. Community centres and gas stations are also under consideration.
H.Y. Louie Co may be closing its wholesale division, but the company is investing “substantially” in technology and its Fresh St. Market brand, Cody said. The back-end technology and inventory management system is in place. The next challenge will be educating the customer and fostering trust. If all goes well, Cody foresees each Fresh St. Market servicing multiple pickup lockers.
“Pick up and collect programs in Europe are huge,” McCurdy said. “Ecommerce is becoming the next battleground for retailers in any number of industries, including grocery.”
H.Y. Louie is opening a third Fresh St. Market this August in Panorama Village, Surrey.
jennylee@postmedia.com