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The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that Loblaws Cos. has signed a deal with, a Canadian e-commerce company, to become its exclusive supplier of grocery, pharmacy, HBC and general merchandise items. will be supplied out of one of Loblaws’ Ontario stores.

Loblaws officials have said that the company is just a supplier, and does not have an ownership stake in the operation. However, if it works out, the company said that it may supply eBox out of other stores as well.

Loblaws has been testing an e-commerce initiative in the Mississauga area for more than two years, but has been skeptical about the economics, believing that it will cost $20 per delivery to make it work.

For a $3 fee, will delivery such goods and services as dry cleaning, photo finishing and movie rentals to "secure boxes" that are installed for free at customers' homes.
KC's View:
The eBox model sounds a lot like the model that went belly up in the Boston area, and we hope they’ve figured out the economics of it. Three bucks -- especially in Canadian money -- sounds pretty cheap…

That said, it would be our belief that businesses like these work better when they are integrated in a seamless way, offering the consumer lots of choices under one overall marketing umbrella. The way this is structured, we have to admit to a certain trepidation about its chances for success.