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Michaels Partners with Instacart to Offer Same-Day Delivery from Canadian Stores: Interview

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Retail giant Michaels, the largest arts and craft retailer in North America, is partnering with Instacart, the leading online grocery platform in North America, to offer its customers same-day delivery from about 100 stores across Canada.

Heather Bennett

Heather Bennett, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Ecommerce at Michaels, said Michaels is the first specialty arts and crafts retailer on the Instacart platform.

“One of the things we’ve focused on and what has led to our partnership with Instacart is even with everything that’s going on our motto is really to be here for the maker,” said Bennett. “And really part of that is just making sure that we’re elevating our omnichannel customer experience. We’ve done things that have really impacted the past two years like BOPIS, which is our buy online, pick up in store, and curbside pickup.

“Both of those options were really launched for our customers as it relates specifically to what happened over the past two years. It allowed us to serve people when we had to close down stores for example and still get them the crafting supplies and everything they needed to kind of continue their creativity at home.”

Michaels / Instacart (Image: Instacart)

The Instacart initiative furthers Michaels’ strategy of elevating its omnichannel customer experience. The company also has a partnership with a firm that does buy now, pay later options – a way for customers to short-term finance some of their purchases. 

“(Some) people don’t want to venture to the store and they want to have their goods delivered to them. (Instacart) is a fabulous option. We actually already offer same-day delivery out of our stores but we know that there are Instacart loyalists and people who absolutely love shopping that platform specifically. So we wanted to be a part of it as their first and only arts and crafts retailer on the platform,” said Bennett.

Currently, there are 130 Michaels locations across Canada in every province. She said Instacart is available through 100 of its Canadian stores. It has not yet launched in Quebec but it will soon.

“Consumer preferences have definitely shifted over time  . . . Part of the reason why we’re focused so heavily on omnichannel and omnichannel experience in the different ways to get customers what they want that’s just the trend of what’s happening with the customer today,” said Bennett. “It’s almost an expectation that you will have many ways for me to shop with you not just that I go into the store but I can also shop online, I can also pick up in store, and somebody else shops for me. And I can also have somebody drop it into the boot of my car if I need to. I can also get it delivered to my doorstep.

Michaels Canada on John Street (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

“So that convenience has become an absolute foundational stone in the customers’ experience which is why Michaels has focused so heavily on making sure that we are available in all the channels that they want to shop us and that experience is something they find easy and enjoy doing so they will come back to us again and again.

“We know that through Instacart’s platform we’ll also reach incremental customers that we have not otherwise had access to and it’s a great awareness building play for us and it really kind of puts us in the forefront of the digital revolution.”

Customers can now shop from Michaels’ assortment of more than 22,000 items across categories like fine arts, yarn, paper crafts, baking, jewelry-making, and more, delivered in as fast as an hour from over 1,200 locations across North America. 

Chris Rogers

As part of Michaels’ strategy to transform its omnichannel approach, Instacart and Michaels’ national partnership in Canada comes on the heels of a recently expanded nationwide partnership in the U.S. Since the initial U.S. pilot launched in March 2021, Michaels reports that it has seen a significant number of incremental customers shop via Instacart. 

“For nearly 50 years, Michaels has inspired consumers across North America to pursue their creative goals with its broad selection of arts and crafts supplies,” said Chris Rogers, Vice President of Retail at Instacart. “We’re proud to expand our footprint with Michaels across North America today, making it possible for families in Canada to get the materials they need — whether looking for an art canvas, scrapbook accessory or kids activity — delivered directly to their door in as fast as an hour.”

Instacart today partners with more than 700 national, regional and local retailers, including unique brand names, to deliver from nearly 65,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in the U.S. – including all 50 states – and Canada. Instacart delivery is available today to more than 90 per cent of Canadian households. 

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior National Business Journalist with Retail Insider in addition to working on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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