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Coronavirus: Many large grocery chains experiencing online order delays

Coronavirus: People self-isolating find online grocery shopping a challenge
WATCH: The coronavirus pandemic has made online grocery shopping a popular option and many Montreal-area stores can’t keep up with the demand. Global’s Olivia O’Malley talked to customers and store operators about the challenges.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, some people are taking measures such as wearing masks and gloves when shopping for groceries.

But others, choosing to avoid public places, have turned to online shopping.

“It’s up 300 per cent easily,” said Supermarché PA vice-president Taso Erimos.

Supermarché PA stores have been receiving 75 to 120 online orders per day. Erimos says they are struggling to keep up with demand.

The store is currently operating two to three days behind schedule.

READ MORE: Quebec seeks volunteers during health crisis as coronavirus deaths climb to 8

Delivery time slots are made available online at midnight. PA customers join a queue to try and get a slot, but only a select few are lucky.

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“We have an X amount of slots available and it gets, I kid you not, it could take 15 minutes before 100 slots are complete,” said Erimos.

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Many other large grocery chains are experiencing delays.

READ MORE: Demand for grocery delivery surges due to coronavirus, leaving some waiting weeks

Metro told Global News its online grocery store is exceptionally popular as of late, with delivery time slots completely booked until April 8.

The chain said it has asked customers to use the service responsibly, leaving it available to those who cannot get to the store.

Global News reached out to IGA, but didn’t hear back. However, when we tried to order groceries on its website, we waited 40 minutes before even being able to place items in our virtual cart.

Loblaw said it, too, has seen the number of online orders spike, telling Global News wait times for online orders vary by location.

Like Loblaw and Metro, Supermarché PA is trying to find ways to manage the increase in demand.

“We’re incorporating staff, we’re looking to stay after hours to prepare hours,” said Erimos.

He admits the status quo cannot be maintained much longer.