The logistical puzzle of pick-up-and-go

A logistical challenge awaits malls and retailers as they prepare for contactless drive-through pickup for essential and non-essential goods purchased online to avoid long queues in parking lots.

The retail industry has been asking the Legault government for several weeks to be able to offer this collection service to consumers. A commercial practice that was until now banned in Quebec during lockdowns, unlike Ontario.

According to the Retail Council of Canada (RCC), in the past few days, several shopping malls across the province have hatched plans to accommodate their tenants. For example, parking spaces will be reserved for pick-up.

RCC spokesperson Jean-François Belleau believes that several retailers could take advantage of this new option to improve their finances, but the decision will be up to them individually. The pickup service will have to be managed by each merchant, he says.

Consumers will not be able to move inside shopping centers to collect their merchandise. You will have to wait for the collection point dictated by the retailer. Only people wishing to buy an essential good will have access to the stores that are still open.

The Director General of the Quebec Retail Council, Stéphane Drouin, concedes that some retailers may prefer not to create this service because of its complexity. However, most of its members told him that they were planning to try the experiment.

La Vie en Rose is one of the brands that do not intend to offer curbside pick-up service. Management points out that the company records between 1,500 to 2,000 online transactions per day.

According to the president, François Roberge, it would be difficult and complex to call customers individually to ask them when and where they would like to pick up their order. He adds that his computer system does not allow to automate this maneuver, for the moment.

The businessman believes that the pick-up option is more possible or advantageous for retailers with an independent door to the outside and smaller businesses, often on the street, with a lower volume of transactions. imposing.

The purchase can be done by internet or by phone.

It can be an essential or non-essential good.

Not all traders will offer the service

For a non-essential good, the customer will not be able to enter the business.

It will also not be possible for a merchant to deliver the merchandise to his customer in an underground parking lot.

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