A review of Safeway's and Sobey's Voila: a service providing grocery delivery and curb side pickup for Canadians.

Review: Voilà — Safeway & Sobeys Grocery Delivery & Pickup

An in-depth review of Voilà: Safeway's and Sobeys' online grocery home delivery and pickup service in Canada.

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Voilà is Safeway’s and Sobeys’ online grocery home delivery and pickup service in Canada.

Sobeys and Safeway are latecomers to the grocery pickup and delivery scene, as the two other grocery stores I frequent, Superstore and Save-On-Foods, have had a similar service for quite some time. Nonetheless, it is welcome news for those who value the convenience and ease of pickup and delivery options.

Delivery is available in the Greater Toronto Area, the Greater Montreal Area, Ottawa, and Quebec City. You can either pay per delivery or purchase a “delivery pass” for unlimited deliveries.

The curbside pickup service is available at select locations in British Columba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. When choosing a curbside delivery, you can choose a one-hour pickup window so that your groceries are ready at your convenience.

As an Albertan, I only have access to the curbside delivery program. I thought I’d try it out. Here is my experience.

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Voilà Curbside Delivery Review

I had a $15 off coupon that’s valid for my first three purchases of $75 or more, so I wanted to make sure I used it. (Coupon Code: VOILAWINTER)

I was able to find almost everything I needed. The only thing I couldn’t find in the online catalog was fresh herbs, like thyme and chives.

The prices seem to match the prices found in the store, which is good as I would hate to overpay for the convenience, which sometimes happens with third-party services like Instacart.

I was able to ring up a bill that was just over $75, so I was ready to use the coupon code. There were many one-hour pickup windows available for the next day, and I chose one that was marked “free”. There were some morning and evening pickup times that cost $2; I assume these are times when there is more demand for the service, hence you have to pay a premium.

Curbside pickup availability with Safeway and Sobey's Voila program.
I was able to choose from a variety of pickup times. Many of them were free of charge; however, I'd have to pay a small $2 charge if I chose the busier morning and evening times.

After selecting my pickup window, I input my credit card and coupon code. The $15 was instantly deduced from my total. Nice!

Two hours prior to pickup, I got confirmation that my order was ready.

How Voilà Handles Substitutions and Out of Stock Items

Only two of the items I had selected were out of stock. One being Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice. Voilà, in turn, offered to substitute it with Compliments Orange Juice. I accepted the substitution and saved a few dollars while I was at it.

The other item that was out of stock were some bone-in chicken thighs and there was no substitution offered in the email confirmation.

While disappointing, I know that out of stock items is a reality of grocery pickup; I’ve had similar experiences with PC Express and Save-On-Foods. I think of it as being similar to arriving at a grocery store in person, only to find an item is out of stock, but more convenient as you don’t have to go hunting down the aisles for it.

I was a bit worried that without the chicken thighs though, I wouldn’t meet the $75 threshold to use my coupon; however, a quick glance at the email revealed that they were still honouring the $15 coupon, despite my total being under $75; score!

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Picking Up a Voilà Order

I was happy with my order and ready to pick it up. So, I hopped into my car and headed down to my local Safeway.

It took me one drive around the parking lot to find the Voilà signs. Now that I know where they are, I’ll be able to head straight to the pickup point during future visits.

Once I arrived, the instructions were clear. Simply text your parking spot number to Voilà; it couldn’t be easier.

After sending the text, I started my stopwatch to see how long it would take to get my groceries.

A couple moments later I get a text back asking for my name. I gave Voilà my name and quickly got an acknowledgement.

It wasn’t long before I saw my groceries being wheeled out of the grocery store. In total it took 3 minutes and 37 seconds for my groceries to arrive from the time of my initial text. Not bad! I typically wait in drive throughs for much longer than that. Voilà was truly living up to its name!

Quick response for pickup at Safeway through the Voila curbside pickup program.
Quick service! Only took three and half minutes from texting my arrival to receiving my grocceries.

When the associate got to my car, she told me about the two items that were out of stock. She confirmed that I was okay with the substituted orange juice, and then offered to get me some chicken legs instead of thighs for the out-of-stock thighs. I declined the offer but thanked her for it.

The items were nicely packed in brown paper bags and as I pulled away from the parking lot, I got a text with a receipt for my order.

When I got home, I cross checked the items I was charged for on my receipt with the items I had received. My order was 100% accurate. 

Concluding Remarks

Overall the experience was smooth and easy. I will be using Voilà in the future when I want to avoid a busy supermarket.

The only downsides to Voilà that I experienced is that not all Safeway and Sobeys locations were participating in it and some items were missing from the catalogue; namely, fresh herbs. I can foresee these two issues being solved as Voilà continues to expand, and I look forward to using the service again.

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