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  • In US, E-Grocery Still Alive And Kicking
    Reuters reports that just a few years after the highly publicized flameouts of high profile e-grocers such as Webvan and Kozmo, there still is plenty of vitality in the e-grocery business.

    Jupiter Research predicts that online sales of groceries in the US will reach $5.4 billion by 2007, up from $1 billion last year. However, some analysts say it is hard to gauge how well the industry is doing because many of the current online grocery ventures are components of brick-and-mortar operations run by Albertsons and Safeway, and those companies don’t break out the performance of their Internet ventures.

  • Canadian E-Grocer Facing (Gasp!) Profitability
    The Canadian Press reports that Grocery Gateway, the Toronto-based online grocer, predicts that it will be profitable in “months and not years.”

    In part, the company says its progress comes from the network of associated retailers with which it is working -- Grocery Gateway sells Sobeys private label products and Home Depot products on its site. Once the company manages to achieve a higher order rate -- which management says it is confident will happen sooner rather than later -- the business model will be working, according to John Mozas, general manager of Grocery Gateway.

    Grocery Gateway's revenues are growing at about 30 per cent year over year, according to Mozas, with annual sales expected to be in the $70-million range by the end of the fiscal year in June.

    About 40,000 people have used the online retailer in last three months, Mozas said.

KC's View:
Nice to hear positive stories about e-shopping in the grocery channel, even if the US companies are a little cagey about the results.

In Canada, it’s all about frequency, traffic, volume, and, increasingly, networking with other retailers to build additional volume and traffic. And it seems to be working.

We think that while there always be missteps, as time goes on there will be more successes than failures, more momentum than reversals, more good news than bad.