A Vitamin Shoppe subsidiary opens an online shop in Canada
March 20, 2015 11:00 AM
Another Internet Retailer Top 500 merchant is making a bet on Canadian e-commerce.
Vitapath, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Vitamin Shoppe Inc., has launched a Canadian e-commerce site. The end-of-February launch of Vitapath.ca follows Vitapath’s store entry into Canada in 2013. The seller of vitamins and nutritional products now operates three stores in the Greater Toronto area, a spokeswoman says. Vitamin Shoppe is No. 207 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide.
The e-commerce site, crafted in English, offers some 6,000 products from more than 200 brands. Orders that cost at least $50 receive free shipping, with orders placed before noon Eastern Time shipping out same-day. For those consumers who live in some of the more remote parts of the vast country—areas that may depend more on airplanes than roads—Vitapath charges a nominal freight charge for regular or expedited delivery.
“E-commerce is an important channel for retailers enabling customers to shop how and when they want,” she says. “Vitapath.ca allows the company to expand beyond Toronto and provide all Canadians access to Vitapath’s offerings.”
The vitamin seller’s online expansion in Canada follows the withdrawal earlier this year by Target Corp., No. 18 in the Top 500 Guide. The chain operated two e-commerce sites in Canada: the English-language Target.ca/en and the French-language Target.ca/fr.
A chief Target competitor, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 4 in the Top 500 Guide, recently announced it is investing C$35 million ($28.1 million) to expand and improve Walmart.ca, its e-retail site for Canada. It did not provide details on how that money will be spent. It is investing a further C$75 million ($60.3 million) to build additional distribution centers to expand its fresh food and e-commerce capacity in Canada. Wal-Mart has not finalized where those centers will be. Walmart.ca gets about 400,000 daily visitors, according to the company.
Canadian shoppers were expected to spend C$22.3 billion ($19.8 billion) with online retailers last year, according to Forrester Research estimates. That spending is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.3% through 2019. Web sales currently account for approximately 6% of total retail spending in Canada; it is expected to account for 10% of retail spending by 2019.