Nash Finch Company, a Minneapolis-based food retailer and distributor, today announced a partnership with the Priceline WebHouse Club that allows customers to use the Internet to name their own price for groceries and then shop for them at NFC owned and operated supermarkets at savings of up to half-off average store prices. The initial stores offering the Priceline WebHouse Club will be two Econofoods stores in Rochester, Minn., beginning in July 2000, with additional supermarkets added throughout the year.
“We are excited to be the first in the Upper Midwest to provide this value-added, Internet-based service to enhance our customers’ shopping experience and help them lower their grocery bill,” said Ron Marshall, NFC president and CEO. “This partnership is a win-win for our customers and NFC, and it will give us a competitive advantage in many markets where we will be the first supermarket to provide the Priceline WebHouse Club.”
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. Starting in July, there will be a Priceline WebHouse link from the NFC web site ( http://www.nashfinch.com). After entering the WebHouse Club, members can select from hundreds of grocery items. After choosing two or more national brands from each product category, they can name their own prices and find out in 60 seconds whether their prices have been accepted. Members lock in their prices by pre-paying with a credit card while they’re still on-line. Before logging off, members print out a pre-paid grocery list that they can take with them to their local NFC store. This pre-paid grocery list includes information verifying the products consumers purchased through the WebHouse Club. At the check-out counter, one swipe of a shopper’s priceline WebHouse Club card completes the process.
About the Priceline WebHouse Club
Priceline WebHouse Club Inc. (http://www.priceline.com ), a privately held licensee of priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN – news), allows customers to name their own price for hundreds of leading grocery items on the Internet. Members choose from over 240 product categories representing more than 1,000 national brand choices.
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WebHouse Club members, after naming their price for groceries, can then get their items at their choice of over 5,000 participating stores throughout the northeast, southeast and Midwest. Priceline WebHouse Club expects to be available nationally by the end of 2000.
Since launching on Nov. 1, 1999, in the New York City metropolitan area, the WebHouse Club has enrolled more than 750,000 households — including 4 percent of all households in New York City — who save an average of $10 to $15 on each shopping trip.
About Nash Finch Company
Nash Finch Company is one of the largest food distribution companies in the United States with $4.1 billion in annual sales. The company owns and operates a growing retail store base of 127 supermarkets, principally under the Econofoods, Sun Mart and Family Thrift Center trade names. Independent retailers and military commissaries in approximately 30 states are key customers of food and related products from Nash Finch. Further information is available on the company’s Web site at http://www.nashfinch.com