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Peachtree Branches Out

[Montreal, QUEBEC] Couch potato is taking on an entirely new, and more literal, meaning in New York state as Peachtree Network Inc./my Butler.com launches ShopRite's online grocery shopping program at its Staten Island, New York store.

The service will allow users to do all of their grocery shopping via the Internet without ever having to leave their home or couches. Residents and businesses in the Staten Island demographic will be able to access the service via ShopRite.mybutler.com.

Montreal-based Peachtree Network is the e-commerce service provider of Wakefern Food Corporation, the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States with over 200 locations in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Delaware. Under the name of ShopRite, Wakefern provides online grocery shopping services for retailers in the grocery business in Canada and the United States.

The Peachtree Web site also includes several recipe ideas and healthy eating tips, as well as answers to users' questions about food and nutrition.

Peachtree currently has online shopping arrangements with food retailers in cities across North America, including Pittsburgh, Washington, Chicago, Toronto, Ottawa, Oklahoma City, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Winnipeg, Edmonton, St. John's, Montreal, Peterborough, Sooke, Whistler, and Buffalo.

Last December, Peachtree developed online shopping networks with Long Island, New York's Green Stream Market, a New York-based chain of supermarkets, and with Bailey's market, an Associated Grocers of Florida supplier located on Sanibel Island, Florida. In November of 2000, Peachtree signed online service agreements with Debaji's Fresh Markets which has stores in Calgary and Edmonton, and with Dave's Supermarkets in Cleveland and Euclid, Ohio.

Peachtree is competing with other online grocery delivery services trying to grab a piece of what is predicted to become an $80-billion (U.S.) Web-based grocery shopping market by 2005. One of its prime competitors is Peapod.com, headquartered in Skokie, Illinois. Peapod delivers groceries in bright green Volks Wagon "Pod Bugs" in San Francisco, Washington, Chicago, Montgomery County, Boston, Long Island, Fairfield County, and Fairfax County. Founded in 1989, Peapod.com was delivering groceries to more than 120,000 customers by 1999 and had sales of US $73-million the same year.