EAST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Shaw's Supermarkets here launched a World Wide Web site late last month that heralds the upcoming return of home shopping and delivery services at the chain after a 30-year hiatus.
This month, Shaw's will make the service available in four metropolitan markets, Portland, Maine; Boston; Hartford, Conn., and Providence, R.I., encompassing about half its 94 stores. Eighteen stores will serve as fulfillment centers with Shaw's employees selecting products.
"The home page is the first step in the process of introducing home delivery to our customers," said Bernie Rogan, spokesman, who noted the chain discontinued the service in 1965.
Order taking and delivery will be handled by Shopping Alternatives, the Bethesda, Md., firm that last month launched a diversely populated web site called The Supermarket Connection. The community site links to web pages for several chains as well as brand manufacturers around the country.
Rogan told SN Shaw's home page (http://www.shopat.com/
shaw's/) will be used to promote products and services and serve as a means to communicate with consumers -- and solicit feedback -- on various issues in the marketplace.
"One of Shaw's overriding goals has always been to provide as much information as possible to our customers," Phil Francis, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
"By establishing a presence on the Internet, we expand our communications ability, and therefore our contact with customers," he said.
Further, the home page will be used to cost-effectively promote Shaw's private-label line, which this past year added 500 items for a total of nearly 3,000 products.
Information regarding employment opportunities and recipes will also be featured on Shaw's page, which this month will link directly to the home page of its parent company, J. Sainsbury, London.