The on-line grocery business has just moved beyond the stage of outlining operating models into the realm of proving them. Like dot-com companies in other sectors, on-line grocery players will be held to higher standards than before by investors, and their prospects for profitability will be heavily scrutinized. "The stock market has punished a lot of the home-delivery stocks," said Mark Rowen, an analyst with Prudential Securities, New York. "They'll have to prove that they can make their ...

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