grocery store wait times canada

These are the best times to shop at grocery stores in Canada

Technology is transforming how we experience this pandemic in many different ways, right down to mapping out the best times to go to the grocery store.

Virtual assistant app has switched to using its artificial technology platform to help users navigate the pandemic by calculating various wait and delivery times, including generating data for grocery stores in several major Canadian cities.

Nationally, Andie has calculated that Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons often have short lineups and an average wait time of 12 minutes, making them the optimal times to shop.

"Currently, Andie has identified Tuesday afternoons between 1:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m. (local time) as the national sweet spot for the least lineup activity at grocery stores," reads a press release.

"The second-best time is Wednesday between 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. These time frames will be updated as customer habits change to stay current as sunnier days approach."

 Andie has broken down the data into specific sweet sports for several Canadian cities by province:

  • Edmonton and Calgary: Tuesday afternoons 1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Wednesday mornings 9:30-11:00 a.m., Thursday afternoons between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., Saturday 6:15 – 7:00 p.m.
Atlantic Canada
  • Halifax: Tuesday 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • St. Johns: Tuesday 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Wednesday 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
British Columbia
  • Vancouver: Tuesday afternoons 1:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
  • Victoria: Tuesday afternoon 2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Winnipeg: Tuesday afternoons 1:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

  • Downtown Toronto, Ottawa: Tuesday afternoons 1:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
  • GTA, London: Tuesday afternoons 1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Wednesday mornings 9:30-11:00 a.m., Thursday afternoons between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., Saturday 6:15 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Waterloo area: Tuesday 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Wednesday 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Saskatoon: Tuesday 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Wednesday mornings 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Andie says the top three busiest times with the longest lineups anywhere in the country are Thursdays between 4 p.m.-6 p.m., Saturdays between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2pm.

Further insights show that lineups move every two to four minutes on weekdays and eight to 11 minutes on weekends, and that small stores (under 12,500 sq. ft) can have wait times of 13 minutes at busy peaks on weekdays and 39 minutes on weekends.

"Big chain grocery stores and pharmacies have an average of 10-minute waits during low peak and 22 minutes during busy parts of the week. They can run as long as 48 minutes during the weekend busiest periods," it said.

Some of the busiest chain stores in Canada, according to Andie, include Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart, while No Frills, Metro, Food Basics, Loblaws and Sobey's are the most popular in Ontario.

Lead photo by

Pat Pilon

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