SkipTheDishes is testing a new business model in London and Winnipeg to help it sell household goods and groceries directly to customers
Photo: The Skip Express Lane location at 353 Bathurst Street
THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS and grocery delivery business got red hot during the pandemic as consumers warmed to the notion of stocking their pantries via an app.
Now SkipTheDishes is getting in on the action, launching a grocery delivery pilot project in London and Winnipeg.
Called Skip Express Lane, the service operates somewhat like a ghost kitchen: sales are made entirely through the app, and it ambitiously aims to deliver all orders within 25 minutes.
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The ‘store’ will stock many conventional grocery items (more than 1,500 of them, according to the Canadian Press), as well as less conventional items, including condoms and pregnancy tests (the ‘there’s an app for everything’ jokes may just write themselves…)
On top of that, local brands are able to get in on the action, with Skip Express featuring products that are unique to the city. In London, products like Booch Organic Kombucha, beans from Fire Roasted Coffee Co. or Bosco and Roxy’s dog treats are all available through the service.
Customers order from Skip Express Lane through the existing SkipTheDishes app, and the orders are then dispatched from their location, a former gym location at 353 Bathurst Street. Deliveries under $25 incur a $1.99 delivery fee; orders over that are delivered for free.
It’s a good time for SkipTheDishes to expand into the grocery delivery business, in part because the pandemic made for a year to remember: SkipTheDishes reported a 900 per cent increase in demand last year, as everyone stayed home and ordered in. And while other delivery services, like UberEats, have gotten into the delivery game, shepherding products from retailer to consumer, Skip’s taking it one step further by stocking the products themselves ― something that likely offers better margins for them, but also enables much quicker delivery times.
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“The expectation of a consumer is the highest it’s ever been,” COO of SkipTheDishes, Howard Migdal, told the Winnipeg Free Press. “When our Netflix loads for more than a minute, we get upset. Two hours for grocery or convenience-store delivery just isn’t good enough.
“What if you need something like baby wipes, or a pack of Coca-Cola or ingredients to make a dish at the last minute? Well, now you have Skip Express Lane.” Kieran Delamont