Loblaw to launch online grocery delivery service with Instacart
Canadian supermarket heavyweight Loblaw has announced that it will be launching a home delivery service in partnership with a Californian startup named Instacart, beginning December.
With over 2,400 stores, Loblaw offers the largest number of click and collect grocery pickup points across Canada. However, the firm currently lacks a home-delivery service – something that its new partnership with Instacart will look to change.
“We have stores minutes from most Canadians, the nation's largest Click & Collect network, and home delivery of online beauty and apparel products,” said Galen Weston, Chairman and CEO of Loblaw. “For customers who want groceries delivered right to their door, Instacart is a new and complementary convenience.”
Although Instacart currently serves over 150 US markets, this marks the technology-driven deliver startup’s first international venture outside of the US.
“Entering our first international market with national icons like Loblaw and its President's Choice brand is a strong starting point for both our company and the local customers we aim to serve,” said Apoorva Mehta, CEO of Instacart. “I grew up in Canada and know first-hand the appeal of these supermarkets and brands. I also know that our Instacart technology and service will meaningfully add to their appeal and convenience.”
At launch, the Instacart app and website will feature up to 30,000 Loblaw products that can then be shopped for and delivered in any one-hour window, selected up to a week in advance.
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”