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Pathmark Offers E-shopping on Enhanced Web Site

CARTERET, N.J. -- Pathmark Stores, based here, has dipped its toe into the e-commerce world, by introducing online shopping on its Web site, with product pickup at either of two brick-and-mortar stores in New Jersey to start, with a third in the state to follow shortly.

The chain's intent is "roll out to as many stores as we can [to] do justice to the program," Pathmark spokesman Rich Savner told Progressive Grocer. The entire portfolio could possibly participate in the future, Savner, but Pathmark wants to implement the online shopping system in phases, "as we become comfortable" with the ins and outs of running an online shopping service.

Savner said shoppers would be able to buy anything currently available, except for prescription drugs, in the two pilot units located in Middletown and Edgewater. The stores are staffed with personal shopper teams to select ordered products.

Customers will be able to place an order at any time on the site,; and then pick up their orders at the Middletown or Edgewater stores between 10a.m. and 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Pathmark will apply a fee of $10 per order for the online shopping service. Manufacturers' coupons can used be while shopping via the Internet, and Pathmark Advantage Club loyalty offerings will also apply, the company said.

In tandem with the e-commerce launch, Pathmark has upgraded its Web site. Customers have access to an enhanced interactive shopping list as they browse the weekly Pathmark circular with selected items compiled as they're selected. An improved store locator now but also provides current facts on all store concepts and services offered at each of the retailer's locations. In addition, the site now has information about online photo processing, prescription refills, and available perishable items.

Savner said the company was "guided by respect for the shoppers' time," which naturally led to the launch of the enhanced Web site including the online shopping service -- "just one more tool we're using to achieve that goal."

In a statement, Pathmark s.v.p. of advertising, Grant McLoughlin, said the "improved Web site provides visitors a quick and efficient means to access information they desire. Pathmark's goal is to react to the needs of our customers, and we believe that both the online shopping program [and] the Web site improvements address many issues relevant to today's shopper."

Pathmark operates 142 stores in the New York-New Jersey and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.
--Bridget Goldschmidt
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