Dollarama launches new online store with Quebec pilot project

Dollarama goes online
An iconic Canadian store is joining the digital age. Dollarama is launching an online e-commerce store. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines explains what shoppers need to know before surfing the discount items.

Iconic Canadian bargain store chain Dollarama has gone digital with the launch of its new online e-commerce store.

The Quebec-based company revamped its online website Thursday morning to allow online purchases.

Shoppers roaming the virtual aisles will now have access to over 1,000 items online.

Purchases will be restricted to the province of Quebec and items will only be shipped to residences within the province for the early beginnings of the pilot project.

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Many shoppers who frequent the bricks-and-mortar store leave with small items and bags full.

The virtual shopping experience will be starkly different as items will not be sold individually. Products available online, including cookware, office supplies and food, will be sold in bulk.

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Sylvain Auclair says he has always seen the store more as a reliable go-to place for impulse shopping.

“It’s not a purchase that I would think about further in advance,” Auclair said. “I pass in front and I think, ‘I’m going to get some chips or candy or things like that.'”

While the website is open to the public, the aim is to target Canadian small businesses.

“The purpose is to better serve customers who are looking to buy large quantities of the same product,” Dollarama representative Lyla Radmanovich said.

Shoppers will be able to buy products, such as cleaning products, by the box full rather than one unit.

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The move towards the digital marketplace is to compete with American giants like Costco and Amazon, which have gained ground in the Canadian market.

Radmanovich says Dollarama’s e-commerce store is servicing an “unmet market” of buyers who want several items at once.

Radmanovich gives the examples of planning a wedding and needing several hundred centrepieces.

She also points out that the website accommodates the needs of many businesses with its “Shop by Activity” section.

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“These are all items that could be used in hotels, party planning, schools and maintenance,” Radmanovich said.

The website took two years to make, and Radmanovich says the company plans to expand the availability across Canada once the pilot project in Quebec is complete.