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Name Your Price

Web service allows food shoppers to control supermarket costs

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Grocery shoppers in Texas can now have the best of both worlds: price-shopping online, then purchasing the goods at the local supermarket. Through an agreement with Kroger and Priceline WebHouse Club, a licensee of priceline.com, comes the Name-Your-Own-Price grocery service. Consumers can log on to priceline.com, select from hundreds of national brand choices in 240 product categories and enter their desired price levels. Within a minute, the computer tells them whether their choices have been accepted. The shoppers then pre-pay by credit card and go to the store to pick up their groceries.

Priceline for Groceries already operates in markets all over the country, cooperating with 6,000 stores within not just the Kroger chain but also Albertson's, Safeway, Ahold USA, Meijer, Winn-Dixie, A&P, ShopRite, Grand Union and Pathmark, among several others. It says it is now being used in more than one million households. It expects to expand next into the Atlanta and Indianapolis markets.

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