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Sources tell MNB that ShopRite of Oakland, New Jersey, a single-store independent owned by Bob Clare, will license the business from MyWebGrocer, which acquired the business when it bought NeXpansion.

MNB exclusively reported yesterday that, which provides e-commerce functionality to brick-and-mortar supermarket retailers, acquired the assets of NeXpansion - including its business and its Endless Aisle technology. had been a "pure play" grocery e-tailer for a number of years, managing to survive the dot-com meltdown of several years ago and generating annual revenue of about $10 million. While MyWebGrocer now owns this business, CEO Richard Tarrant told MNB that "we will not be in the business of selling groceries. We don't have any desire to source and make margins on products."

Instead, sources say, ShopRite will license the NetGrocer name and service the online accounts from its single store - from which it has been selecting product for online shoppers since June 2002. The costs will be minimal, beyond shipping costs, but ShopRite should be able to add NetGrocer's $10 million in annual sales to its balance sheets.

MyWebGrocer plans to use NeXpansion's Endless Aisle technology as a complementary product offering to go along with its other Internet-based infrastructure services. "This allows us to continue to use the channel we've developed to enhance retailers' sales," said Tarrant, noting that several grocery chains had offered both e-tailing powered by MyWebGrocer and the Endless Aisle technology when they were owned by separate companies.

New deals will have to be struck with the companies that previously offered the Endless Aisle technology to consumers.
KC's View:
Seems like a smart move by ShopRite, which already has the picking infrastructure and is just going to have to invest in some shipping equipment.

This ShopRite store instantly goes from being a single-store independent to being an international company; roughly 20 percent of NetGrocer's sales have traditionally been to US embassies and global military installations.