Are you one of those people who actually loves to grocery shop, wandering leisurely through the aisles and savouring the whole experience, every single time? If so, this post is not for you. If not, read on!
I used to fantasize about having someone do my grocery shopping for me. In those moments when I daydreamed about ways to make my life more efficient and streamlined (other people do that too, right?) I would imagine the convenience and ease of handing my list to someone else and having that tedious chore taken care of for me.
Loblaws has made this dream come true with their awesome Click and Collect program.
Here's how it works:
From the convenience of your own home, you visit the Click and Collect website, and then "Click" to add every item on your list to your cart. You place your order, and personal shoppers gather all of your items for you, ready to be picked up at the time you specified. Upon arrival at Loblaws to "Collect", you pull into a specially-marked reserved parking spot, call the designated phone number, and your bags are brought out and put in your vehicle. (I swear, I'm not making this up!)
Click and Collect is so easy to use, and I love being able to order my groceries on my laptop from the comfort of my own home (usually while relaxing in front of the TV, or at my treadmill desk - my loyal readers know I'm addicted to multitasking!) When I log in, the site remembers my previous orders and "My Favourites", so I can start by clicking on all of my regularly-purchased items, which is another time-saver. Once your order is ready, you get a notification which also lets you know if any items were out of stock, and if so what substitutions they suggest (which you can approve or decline).
This past weekend, I phoned to ask about a couple of substitutions before I arrived, and the personal shopper scooted around the store while on the phone with me, making sure that I got exactly what I needed. Now that's service!
I always pick up my orders at Loblaws in Lindsay, and I've been so impressed by how friendly the shoppers are, and how quickly my groceries are brought out. No getting kids out of carseats (or getting out in the cold myself!) By the way, you don't have to drive to use the service; you can walk up to get your order as well - no motorized vehicle required!
I've been raving about Click and Collect to family, friends and colleagues for a few months now, and the same questions often arise:
How much does it cost? The personal shopping service costs $3 or $5, depending on the day/time chosen, which I think is very reasonable (and tipping is not expected). Not only is that amount of my time worth the money, I'm also confident that I save at least 5 bucks every time I don't take my daughters into a grocery store with me. It's much cheaper to have them sitting in the back seat as our groceries get loaded! Prices online are the exact same as what you would find in store (no mark-ups for the service), and you get PC Plus points as well. (Another program I love - perhaps I'll share more about that in a future post!)
Do you get high-quality items? We've always been pleased with the produce and meat that has been chosen on our behalf, and the personal shoppers are actually trained to pick the best items for the customers. They want us to be happy with the service, so they're not giving us bottom-of-the-barrel merchandise. There's a box on the website to provide special instructions for your order and we always ask for green bananas, and so far have never had a problem.
What's the catch? There really isn't one! The only trouble I've ever had is that when you click to add an item to your cart, you have to wait for a quick second as the website processes your selection. Sometimes when I get ahead of myself and start clicking several items on a page I end up with something left off my order. If you're a touch more patient than I am, this won't be a problem (and my Loblaws contact tells me that they're working to resolve that minor issue).
Of course, the in-store experience is very different (my husband occasionally likes to walk through the grocery store for new ideas) and ordering online every week might not be right for you, but it's definitely worth checking it out!
Visit Click and Collect for more details, or to get started with your first order!
Disclosure: This post was generously sponsored by Loblaws. Opinions are, as always my own. Please note that I had already used - and was extremely impressed with - the Click and Collect service several times before partnering with Loblaws for this post.