Marketing Specialists Corporation (Nasdaq:MKSP), a leading provider of outsourced sales and marketing services to manufacturers, suppliers and producers of food products and consumer goods, today announced the launch of a new service designed to expand the e-commerce sales of manufacturers the Company represents.

Specifically, Marketing Specialists will act as an outside sales force and marketing representative, selling manufacturers' products to e-retailers. The new services will enable manufacturers to grow their e-commerce sales without having to make direct sales calls to the expanding number of online retailers.

John Rand, a 19-year veteran of the food brokerage industry, will lead Marketing Specialists' e-commerce services. Currently, Mr. Rand serves as Marketing Specialists' vice president of integrated marketing for the Company's Northern division. Previously, he served as vice president of sales technology at Merkert American and vice president of sales technology and information systems at Toomey-DeLong, Inc. Before that, Mr. Rand held space management positions at Hannaford Brothers after launching his career by spending five years in the food service industry. Mr. Rand, 49, will remain at Marketing Specialists' Canton, Mass., office.

"E-commerce represents a tremendous opportunity to expand sales for the manufacturers we represent," said Gerald Leonard, president and chief executive officer of Marketing Specialists. "Marketing Specialists has been a consistent leader in the application of information and technology within the food brokerage industry. Our new e-commerce service is our latest effort to ensure that we fully develop every possible sales channel for the manufacturers with whom we partner.

"The power of the Internet to boost sales is being demonstrated in a number of businesses," Mr. Leonard continued. "As the number of on-line retailers gain experience and build their customer bases, Internet sales of food and consumer goods will continue to gain significance. At Marketing Specialists, we want to make sure that the manufacturers we represent can fully capitalize on this growing market segment. We plan to penetrate the e-retailer community the same way we cover conventional retailers."

"In addition to providing traditional sales and marketing services, we plan to track sales at the customer level, using the same focused approach that has gained Marketing Specialists a reputation for unmatched analytic capabilities and unsurpassed local-market expertise," noted Mr. Rand. "In addition, the Internet presents an ideal environment for new item testing, niche-item marketing and brand-image reinforcement on a market-by-market basis.

"As we build our national team of e-commerce specialists, we'll blend e-commerce know-how with our complete menu of proven sales and marketing services," Mr. Rand added. "Tapping the potential of online markets represents uncharted territory for many manufacturers, and our resources and expertise will help guide them every step of the way."

Marketing Specialists Corporation provides outsourced sales, marketing and merchandising services to manufacturers of food and other consumer products. With more than 6,000 associates in 65 locations throughout the nation, Marketing Specialists is one of the two largest food brokers in the United States.

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This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27a of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements because they involve unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which are, in some cases, beyond the control of Marketing Specialists. Actual events, performance and results could differ materially from the anticipated events, performance or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The factors which may cause such differences include, among other things, Marketing Specialists' ability to consummate any of the transactions contemplated by the letters of intent to which Marketing Specialists is a party; Marketing Specialists' ability to successfully integrate any future and past acquisitions; principal realignment as a result of mergers or acquisitions; the competitive environment; and general economic conditions. For further information, please refer to the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.