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    Schnucks Debuts Internet Special Order Service

    ST. LOUIS -- Schnuck Markets, Inc. here has made it a whole lot easier to help consumers find a special ingredient, seasonal item, or regional favorite with the launch of a new Special Order Service (SOS) that enables customers to order an additional 40,000 hard-to-find items.

    ST. LOUIS -- Schnuck Markets, Inc. here has made it a whole lot easier to help consumers find a special ingredient, seasonal item, or regional favorite with the launch of a new Special Order Service (SOS) that enables customers to order an additional 40,000 hard-to-find items.

    Schnucks teamed with Eye Level Solutions, an online specialty food channel, to significantly expand its product offerings for customers who are testing exotic new recipes or simply building their cooking skills. Customers can access the service via the chain's Web site, from which they're only a click away from thousands of novel food items not typically carried at traditional grocery stores.

    Larry Maggio, Schnucks' director of marketing services, said that in addition to the unusual products, SOS offers an expanded variety of international, organic, and kosher foods. "Schnucks stores have an extensive offering ranging from basic foods to the unusual, but we still get the occasional question about an exotic ingredient or a product that has a small distribution," said Maggio. Customers will find about 10,000 items that can be ordered in a single unit, he said, noting that an additional 30,000 products can be purchased by the case via the "Request It" function.

    While the chain does not charge a membership fee to access the site, there is a nominal $2.50 shopping fee for orders of less than $25. UPS provides shipping at its standard rates, and orders can be paid for by Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.

    Eye Level Solutions is a subsidiary of Romeoville, Ill.-based Kehe Food Distributors, Inc., which provides specialty items such as ethnic foods, gourmet items, and natural foods to more than 9,000 grocery stores in 35 states, including Schnucks.

    Schnuck Markets, Inc. operates 101 stores (including five Logli stores) and 98 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Tennessee and Mississippi.

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