Priceline WebHouse Club today announced a series of new market expansions that will culminate later this summer in the nationwide availability of the company's Name-Your-Own-Price(SM) grocery service, with the addition of the Kroger Co., the nation's largest supermarket chain with more than 2,300 stores coast-to-coast.

Kroger becomes the first supermarket chain to announce a phased-in, market-by-market national expansion of the Priceline for Groceries service, where consumers can name their own price for groceries on the Internet and save up to half off when they shop at participating local retail stores. Kroger joins other national and regional chains, including Safeway, Albertson's and Ahold USA that already offer WebHouse Club grocery savings to their customers.

Beginning today, Kroger will introduce Priceline for Groceries in its Michigan stores and then will roll out WebHouse Club in its other major markets. By fall, the WebHouse Club will be available in Kroger-owned stores in 31 states.

"The rapid expansion of Priceline WebHouse Club's grocery service from the New York metro area last fall to a truly nationwide service in a matter of months, demonstrates the scalability of the Priceline WebHouse Club, which has no inventory or warehouses. It also illustrates the tremendous value of the Internet to both consumers and to traditional brick and mortar companies," said Jay S. Walker, co-founder of Priceline WebHouse Club.

"Already, more than three-quarters-of-a-million households in the northeast, southeast and Midwest, including 4 percent of all households in New York City, have used Priceline for Groceries -- many of them every week. And soon millions of consumers will save every week on gas by first naming their price on priceline.com before going to a local gas station."

In addition to Kroger, other national and regional supermarket chains offer WebHouse Club grocery savings to their customers.

Ahold USA's customers can name their own price with WebHouse Club and shop at the company's stores in the northeast (Stop and Shop, Giant of Pennsylvania, Giant of Maryland), southeast (Bi-Lo) and the Midwest (Tops Market). Albertson's ACME markets offer WebHouse Club grocery savings to customers in the Philadelphia metro area. Safeway works with Priceline WebHouse Club in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore metro areas, while Winn-Dixie shoppers throughout the southeast and parts of the Midwest save up to 50 percent off typical average store prices with Priceline for Groceries. Additionally, the WebHouse Club is currently working with more than 30 other supermarket chains throughout the northeast, southeast and Midwest.

With these recent and announced expansions, Priceline WebHouse Club becomes the only nationwide online grocery service in the U.S. and is larger, in terms of volume and customers, than all other online grocery services combined. For example, WebHouse Club members now price nearly 2 million different grocery items per week and are on track to price more than 100 million different grocery items by the end of the year.

Priceline WebHouse Club is also the only Internet service with thousands of retail stores. The company's grocery service currently is available at nearly 5,000 local supermarkets, and will be available in a total of more than 10,000 by the middle of summer. The company's gasoline service, where people can go online and save up to 20 cents a gallon at the pump, will soon be available at more than 20,000 branded and independent gas stations nationwide.

How Priceline WebHouse Club Works

To use the WebHouse Club, consumers log onto http://www.priceline.com from their home or office computers before they go to the grocery store. After entering the WebHouse Club, members can select from 1,000 national brand choices in 240 product categories. After choosing two or more national brands for each category, consumers can name their own prices and find out within 60 seconds whether their prices have been accepted. Members lock in their prices by pre-paying with a credit card while they're still online.

Before logging off, members print out a pre-paid grocery list that they can take with them to their favorite local participating store. This pre-paid grocery list includes information verifying the products consumers purchased through the WebHouse Club. At the checkout counter, one swipe of a shopper's Priceline WebHouse Club card completes the process. Shoppers can get their Priceline WebHouse Club card at participating supermarkets or by requesting one from the WebHouse Club web site.

About the Priceline WebHouse Club

Priceline WebHouse Club Inc. (http://www.webhouse.priceline.com), a privately held licensee of priceline.com, allows customers to name their own price for hundreds of leading grocery items on the Internet.

Priceline WebHouse Club members, after naming their price for groceries, can then get their items at their choice of nearly 5,000 participating stores throughout the northeast, southeast and Midwest.

Since launching on November 1, 1999 in the New York City metropolitan area, the WebHouse Club has enrolled more than 750,000 members, who have priced more than 35 million grocery items and saved an average of $10 to $15 per shopping trip. A full 85 percent of WebHouse Club business now comes from repeat customers.