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    Rolling the Dice

    Albertsons.com brings online grocery service to Las Vegas.

    LAS VEGAS -- Albertsons.com, the online grocery service of Albertsons Inc., will begin accepting orders today as the company expands its online grocery service to serve Las Vegas area residents. Deliveries began today to 84 zip codes in the Las Vegas area. With this expansion, Albertsons.com now serves seven major metropolitan areas up and down the West Coast -- the largest geographic reach of any online grocery provider.

    To use the service, shoppers have to visit the Albertsons.com Web site, register and place their order for delivery or in-store pick-up. To promote the service, Albertsons is running an e-coupon promotion for $10 off customers' orders over $75 for each of the first 4 weeks of this new service.

    "Albertsons.com will provide shoppers with flexibility to complement their busy Las Vegas lifestyle," said Greg McNiff, Albertsons' area vice president for the Las Vegas region.

    All products ordered through Albertsons.com are available at the same prices available in Albertsons stores. Online orders placed by 10 a.m. will be available for pick-up after 5 p.m. the same day; orders placed by midnight will be delivered or available for pick up the following day. A fee of $9.95 is charged for door-to-door delivery and $5.95 for pick up.

    Albertsons uses its existing brick-and-mortar store infrastructure to support the online service, providing a full selection of grocery, pharmacy and dry-good items. Shoppers can choose to have groceries delivered to their home or office within a prescheduled 90-minute window, or pick up their prepaid, prepacked groceries at an Albertsons store. A total of 31 neighborhood stores in the Las Vegas region will offer the pick-up service.

    "Albertsons is the first national brick and mortar chain to offer the online grocery service to its customers and the first to bring this service to Las Vegas," McNiff said. "We're taking advantage of four years in the online grocery sector to expand into regions that make the most sense for the service. So far we're pleased with our results in Seattle, San Diego, Southern California, Portland and the San Francisco Bay Area."

    In the east, Ahold's Stop & Shop supermarket chain operates the Peapod grocery delivery network.

    Albertsons.com was originally launched in Seattle in November 1999.

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