The Kroger Co. today said it is teaming up with Priceline WebHouse Club to let customers use the Internet to name their own price for groceries at more than 2,300 Kroger-owned stores around the country by this fall.

Kroger is launching the service today in Michigan and will gradually expand the concept to all of the Company’s divisions by late October. The Company expects to be the first food retailer to partner with Priceline WebHouse Club in approximately two-thirds of the 43 major markets where Kroger operates.

“Our alliance with Priceline WebHouse Club combines the power of the Internet with the convenience of our neighborhood grocery stores to create new value for price-conscious shoppers,” said Don McGeorge, Kroger executive vice president. “Supermarket shoppers are always looking for opportunities to lower their grocery bills. We believe this partnership will draw additional customers into our stores and provide us with a strategic advantage in the markets where we expect to be the first to offer this service.”

“Kroger’s substantial customer base can now join WebHouse Club members in the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast to name their own price for groceries,” said Jay Walker, co-founder of the Priceline WebHouse Club.

How Priceline WebHouse Club Works

To order groceries from their favorite Kroger store via the WebHouse Club, consumers can simply log on to www.priceline.com or, beginning Monday, June 12, connect through Kroger’s corporate web site ( www.kroger.com) and click on the WebHouse Club icon. Members can select from 1,000 different brands in 240 product categories prior to visiting the store. After choosing two or more national brands in any category, consumers can submit their own price requests and find out within 60 seconds whether their offers 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 to take with them to their favorite participating Kroger-owned store. This pre-paid grocery list includes information verifying the products purchased through the WebHouse Club. At the checkout counter, one swipe of a shopper’s WebHouse Club card completes the process. Shoppers can get their card at participating Kroger stores, through Kroger’s corporate web site or by requesting one from the Priceline WebHouse Club web site.

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kroger is the nation’s largest retail grocery chain. The Company currently operates more than 2,300 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under more than a dozen banners, including Kroger, Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Smith’s, King Soopers, Dillon, Fry’s, City Market, Food 4 Less and Quality Food Centers. Kroger also operates 796 convenience stores, 389 fine jewelry stores and 42 food processing plants.