Canadian shopping centre owner Cadillac Fairview has launched a unique delivery service for the Greater Toronto Area, through CF Sherway Gardens, with plans to introduce CF Delivery in the near future to major markets in Vancouver and Montreal.
Cadillac Fairview has partnered with Swyft to offer retailers at CF shopping centres preferred shipping rates and a “compelling, centralized environment to complement their existing omni-channel logistics.”
“In the spirit of retail agility, we continue to explore new technology and value-based opportunities for our partners to stand out and deliver on new consumer expectations,” said Jose Ribau, Executive Vice President, Digital and Innovation.
“Our partnership with Swyft is an example of how we continue to put retailers and customers at the centre of our offerings, while collaborating with like-minded companies who share a mutual goal of streamlining the shopping experience.”
Cadillac Fairview said CF Delivery will provide highly competitive same-day and next-day delivery rates across three major markets including the Greater Toronto Area, Vancouver, and Montreal with outbound packages coming from a CF property as a centralized fulfilment hub. The same delivery services with Swyft can also be directly integrated with the retailer’s regional distribution centre and other non-CF storefronts across the three major markets.
“As a leader in the shopping centre industry, Cadillac Fairview has some of the most productive and most sought after malls in Canada, and we are thrilled to partner with them as they continue their journey of bridging the gap between brick-and-mortar and online shopping,” said Aadil Kazmi, Swyft’s co-founder and current CEO. “Swyft helps retailers of any size provide affordable same-day delivery and, with the increased consumer demand for same day delivery witnessed during the last year and a half, customers are yearning for hybrid accessibility to their favourite retailers.”
Gary Newbury, an analyst and expert in supply chain management, said this is another great example of mall owners/managers stepping in to fill gaps where individual retailers – especially independents or small format specialty retailers – find it difficult to navigate scaling last mile propositions, or very uncommercial due to lower than needed demand.
“The pandemic has certainly accelerated consumer interest in online services, whether that is BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store), curbside or delivery to a point of convenience (home or a nearby collection point). And much of what consumers learnt through lockdown will “stick” and become their way of preferring to do business as life continues to unfold,” he said.
“Using a combination of carriers to provision for the last mile activity – getting the product from the store to where the consumer wants to receive it – and supplementing this with an innovative returns handling approach via ReturnBear is starting to move towards a “Mall of the Future” concept. To fully enable this, it requires all retailers to link their POS systems to the mall owner’s systems to enable a single delivery across multiple banners, rather than the consumer relying on the carrier to consolidate deliveries.”
If we think about “Mall as a service” for consumers, it requires this level of integration, he added. It also requires a different strategy to facilitate confidence of stock accuracy, as shelf stock balance is notoriously out of date by the time it is uploaded to the website/app.
“Much work still needs to be done in this area, as consumers really lose confidence when they order one thing and receive substitutions or no stock. Many “systems” do not provide backorder functionality with an accurate date for fulfillment, much less interact with the customer to accept or reject this,” explained Newbury.
“The other side of this equation does still feel a fair way off. What is the strategy for the mall? Are landlords still using 2010s approaches to keep tenant occupation high? Signing up long term deals to meet their investor requirements for steady income? Or are we likely to see some further adventurous announcements from our Canadian mall owners/managers arising while we are living through these unprecedented times where we can throw a few things in the air to create innovation? After all, such public spaces have traditionally created experiences – the Saturday afternoon visit to the mall for instance. Creating excitement for the local community is key.
“This is a great announcement and shows that despite the retailing industry struggling for air, especially those in discretionary spending categories, the mall is moving forward quickly with innovative and consumer centric concepts.”
Cadillac Fairview said its Ravel by CF service is intended to provide a frictionless shopping experience for consumers.
CF Eats is a service designed to support food retailers and restaurants manage online orders more efficiently and seamlessly and the shopping centre owner’s partnership with ReturnBear is intended to help retailers realize a faster, more efficient return process.
CF Eats is available at all the shopping centre owner’s properties.
Ravel by CF has also partnered with Deliverect to offer food retailers and restaurants the ability to create their own online virtual storefront, and manage third party orders and menus all in one place.
ReturnBear introduced its first physical drop off points at two CF shopping centres in Ontario this summer. It was launched in July at CF Toronto Eaton Centre and CF Fairview Mall. It provides shoppers with a hassle-free return experience with instant refunds without the burden of waiting in long lines in-store or making a trip to the post office. For retailers, it saves time and cost on processing returns so they can restock and resell returned items without missing a beat, said Cadillac Fairview.