PenguinPickUp Expands Westward into Vancouver Market: Interview

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PenguinPickUp, a growing network of convenient “one-stop pick-up” for all ecommerce purchases including groceries as well as outbound courier services from its courier company partners, has expanded from its Toronto base to now operating as well in Vancouver.

Brad Baker, the company’s Vice-President of Operations, said the company has recently opened two locations in Vancouver as the concept aims to make the last mile in retail less complex and less expensive.

The company, which began in 2014, has 33 locations across the country in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. Five are in Quebec, two in BC and the remainder are in Ontario.

Welcome to Vancouver PenguinPickUp (Image: JLL)

“Whilst we’ve been in business a number of years now, we still very much operate with a startup mindset.” Said Baker.

Brad Baker

“Our service offer is that we help solve the last mile problem for both retailers and consumers. Consumers can simply have their online purchases sent to us, and trust that their parcels are held safely and securely, ready to be picked up close to where they live or work when it’s convenient for them. As well customers can choose PenguinPickUp as the collection point when you shop online with our retail partners.”

“For retailers, who Offer Click and Collect or Delivery we are a great last mile solution, in that we’re a way that they can reach more customers, particularly in dense, urban markets, with less stops. Helping them to remove time, expense and complexity out of the last mile.”

For example, looking at the Vancouver market, explained Baker, a customer living in the west end of the city could order from IKEA one day by 7 p.m. and the item will be ready in PenguinPickUp’s location by 2 p.m. the next day.

Image: PenguinPickUp

“We’re growing very rapidly. In fact this year we’re opening on average about two stores per month. By the end of this year it’s our goal to have nearly 50 stores, including our third site in Vancouver which is already underway, and we’ll continue to open somewhere between 15 and 20 new stores a year,” said Baker.

“E-commerce has surged in the last couple of years, and there’s a real need to solve many of the challenges it’s created. Consumers are shopping more and more online, and many are worried about porch pirates or perhaps are living in a condo building where they don’t have a concierge and packages may be left unsecured and unattended. Or even if they have do a concierge many buildings are overflowing with packages as they’re not designed to handle the volume of e-commerce we are seeing today. The surge in e-commerce, has also put pressure on reverse logistic and returns, we provide a great solution for retailers in that respect, and are a convenient place for customers to drop their returns off at.

“For retailers, if you can reach thousands of customers through PenguinPickUp stores downtown in one stop, that’s more effective from a cost and environmental impact.”

 “In addition to these services our associates aim to provide a world-class customer experience every day and are intensely focused on delivering our service standards of Focused, Friendly and Clean.

“We are excited to bring our service to Vancouver, we’ve already served many customers and can’t wait to meet more. If PenguinPickUp can be a solution for your retail business, please reach out.”

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 News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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