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The San Jose Mercury News reports that despite the spectacular flame-out that was Webvan just a couple of years ago, "traditional grocers see long-term opportunity in offering food shopping via the Internet. Grocers forging into online sales post-Webvan are confident their operations will survive because they already have numerous outlets, strong name recognition and purchasing clout."

In fact, as traditional supermarkets look for any differential advantage in the fight against price/value-driven retailers, online shopping is shaping up to be what the paper refers to as a "loyalty play."

This story follows by a day MNB's piece yesterday about a Forrester Research study suggesting that U.S. online retail sales this year will reach $95.7 billion, then hit $122.6 billion in 2004, $149.2 billion in 2005, $176.8 billion in 2006, $204.3 billion in 2007 and then $229.9 billion in 2008 - more than doubling in a five-year period.

While e-commerce currently represents three percent of total retail expenditures at present, Forrester is projecting that it will generate about eight percent of total retail sales by 2008.
KC's View:
We've said it before, and we'll say it again…

To effectively compete in 2003 and beyond, it is critical that retailers be available to consumers where they want the retailer to be, when the consumers wants it to be there, how the consumer wants it to be there, with the products the consumer wants at a price the consumer considers to be reasonable.

To be otherwise is to risk extinction.