Voilà by Sobeys teammate delivers grocery orders in Vaughan, Ont. Image: Empire CompanyVoilà by Sobeys teammate delivers grocery orders in Vaughan, Ont. Image: Empire Company

Empire Company Limited has launched its online grocery home delivery service, Voilà by Sobeys, in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). 

Starting June 22, customers in Vaughan, Ont. will be able to order online at voila.ca or by downloading the Voilà mobile app. Empire says that service across the GTA will follow in the coming weeks.

In response to the impact of COVID-19, Empire says it has implemented significant safety protocols to keep Voilà by Sobeys teammates and customers safe, following standards and recommendations set out by the Public Health Agency of Canada. 

Voilà is powered by Ocado Group's technology and fills orders through its state-of-the-art automated Customer Fulfillment Centre ("CFC") in Vaughan, On. Robots assemble orders efficiently and safely, resulting in minimal product handling, while Voilà teammates safely deliver orders directly to the customer's home.

"Voilà by Sobeys is the future of online grocery retail in Canada, and now it's here," said Michael Medline, President & CEO of Empire. "Ocado's technology gives us the best e-commerce platform in the country – there's nothing like it in North America. We can't wait to share Voilà with our customers in the GTA this summer and across Canada in the future."

Voilà is the first and only grocery retailer to offer Farm Boy and Well.ca products through its online home delivery service. Voilà customers will be able to shop for thousands of fresh produce and grocery products from Sobeys, alongside customer favourites from Farm Boy and health, wellness, baby, pet, and beauty products from Well.ca.

"Canadians deserve a better way to shop for groceries online," said Sarah Joyce, SVP, E-commerce of Empire. "Because Voilà delivers customers' orders directly from an automated warehouse, we have tremendous control over the freshness and quality of our products and the reliability of our deliveries. Our teammates are ready to provide best-in-class service to our customers."

At capacity, Voilà by Sobeys will bring approximately 1,500 jobs to the area, including operations, delivery, and customer service teammates. A second CFC is currently being built in Montreal to bring Voilà par IGA to major cities in the province of Quebec as well as Ottawa.

COVID-19 safety measures in place include frequent cleaning and sanitization of warehouse and delivery vehicles, hygiene standards for all teammates and equipping delivery vehicles with sanitizer and cleaning supplies. Delivery teammates wear face masks upon arrival to homes and change gloves and sanitize in between each delivery, and all teammates respect physical distancing guidelines. Given the current need for 'contactless' deliveries, all orders will be left at customers' doorstep or lobby. Delivery teammates will call customers ahead of time for specific delivery instructions.

Empire announced its plans to launch the service last year.

Customer orders groceries using Voilà.ca. Image: Empire CompanyCustomer orders groceries using Voilà.ca. Image: Empire Company

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