Shoppers Drug Mart ExpansionLoblaw president Galen Weston said he sees a chance to expand its pickup service beyond grocery stores and into the Shoppers Drug Mart chain, which the company also owns.
Metro Rolls Out E-Commerce ProjectNext year, fellow grocer Metro Inc. will begin testing its own e-commerce project that could include in-store pickup or delivery. So far, the company has declined to offer any details. In a call with analysts, Metro's chief executive Eric La Fleche was reluctant to proclaim online shopping as the next step in how consumers buy their food. "For a portion of the population, e-commerce might be the most convenient way to shop," he said. "We'll see how big that demand is — and that market is — as it evolves. When the consumer is ready for that, we'll be ready."
On Wednesday, Loblaw and Metro posted higher quarterly results in what both companies characterized as a highly competitive market driven by discounts and promotions. Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX:L) reported earnings rose nearly 17 per cent to $166 million, or 40 cents per share, for the third quarter. Sales totalled $13.95 billion, up from $13.60 billion. Growth in same-store sales — stores that have been open more than a year — for the company's food business was ahead 3.1 per cent, excluding its gas bar and the negative impact of a change in distribution model by a tobacco supplier. Meanwhile, the company's drug retail same-store sales growth, which includes Shoppers Drug Mart, was 4.9 per cent. Same-store pharmacy sales increased 3.5 per cent, while front store sales increased 6.2 per cent. At Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU), earnings rose 14 per cent to $131.7 million or 52 cents per diluted share for what was its fourth quarter. Sales grew to $2.83 billion from $2.71 billion in the same quarter last year. Same-store sales were up 3.4 per cent. Follow @dj_friend on Twitter.
"For a portion of the population, e-commerce might be the most convenient way to shop."
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