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    LundsByerlys Ups Online Grocery Ante

    The Twin Cities grocer launches fee-free, drive-through grocery pick up, just one week after rival Coborn's rolled out its own online startup, CobornsDelivers.

    The Web-based grocery derby is heating up in the Twin Cities, with the latest salvo coming from LundsByerlys, which began offering free drive-through pickup for online orders placed on their joint Web site, LundsandByerlys.com, through Jan. 4.

    The twinned grocers' program comes on the heels of Coborn's Inc. opening the virtual doors of its online grocery delivery service, CobornsDelivers.

    A spokesman for Edina, Minn.-based Lund Food Holdings was quoted in local reports as saying that the grocer's move to waive the $4.95 store pickup fee was done to spur trial of the service during a busy time of year when people are more inclined to turn to online shopping to save time as opposed to reacting to CobornsDelivers' entry into the market.

    Lunds and Byerly's $9.95 home delivery fee will remain intact.

    St. Cloud-based grocery chain Coborn's Inc. purchased the assets of New Hope-based SimonDelivers in August and reopened the business last week as CobornsDelivers, with 200 employees and a fleet of 60 yellow delivery trucks. SimonDelivers, which began delivering groceries in 1999, closed its doors earlier this year because of rising food and fuel costs and a shift in consumer spending choices.

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