Skip to main content

Cornershop, a Latin American grocery delivery app being acquired by Walmart, plans to expand into Canada early next year as a test market for the United States, an executive for the three-year-old mobile app said.

Walmart is buying Cornershop, which offers deliveries in Mexico and Chile, for $225-million. The deal, one of Walmart’s various global investments and tie-ups geared at helping the retailer compete with Amazon.com Inc, is slated to close by year’s end.

In the United States, Walmart is the largest seller of groceries but grapples with the challenge of swiftly delivering fresh food to the homes of online customers. The company has promised to make such deliveries in 100 U.S. cities by the end of 2018 and so far covers nearly 50 markets.

Story continues below advertisement

In a race to meet its goal, the company is working with several small delivery companies including Doordash and Postmates after ditching partnerships with ride-share companies Uber and Lyft.

Cornershop Chief Technology Officer Daniel Undurraga said in an interview on Tuesday that Cornershop plans to launch in Toronto in the first quarter next year. If it does well, Vancouver and Montreal would follow.

If Canada is successful overall, Undurraga said, the United States could be the next target.

“Canada is a good test market for launching a service in the U.S. It is very similar, but smaller,” he said.

Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Judith McKenna, chief executive of Walmart International, said in September that Cornershop was expected to provide a learning experience for Walmart’s markets beyond Mexico and Chile.

An English-language version of the app will roll out within a month as part of preparation for the Canada launch, Undurraga said.

Cornershop still needs to partner with a local payments company and recruit workers in Canada. About 11,000 people currently work for Cornershop across 11 cities in Mexico and Chile.

Story continues below advertisement

Apart from Walmart the platform also offers deliveries from various retailers, including Costco Wholesale Corp and Mexican chains Chedraui and La Comer. Undurraga said Cornershop is building firewalls so that Walmart cannot access customer data from other stores.

The company will also consider raising delivery fees to account for higher labour costs in Canada and the United States. Cornershop generates other revenue through advertising, commissions from retailers and price markups.

The technology, however, is already in place.

“We have our own tools for being able to do this without a lot of effort,” Undurraga said.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies