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    Vons.com Launches in San Diego Area

    ARCADIA, Calif. - Vons, a division of Safeway Inc., on Friday announced the launch of its new online grocery shopping and delivery service, Vons.com, in the San Diego area.

    ARCADIA, Calif. - Vons, a division of Safeway Inc., on Friday announced the launch of its new online grocery shopping and delivery service, Vons.com, in the San Diego area.

    Customers can order 24 hours a day, then pick a slot for delivery within a two-hour window from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. For a limited time, customers will get $5 off the regular Vons.com delivery fee of $9.95.

    The service is provided by GroceryWorks, the Internet-based home shopping and delivery service that is 50 percent owned by Safeway and 35 percent owned by Tesco PLC in the U.K. GroceryWorks operates Safeway.com in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash.

    As with Tesco's online service, Vons associates will pick items from the shelves of local stores. The service will feature the same products and prices as in the stores, and customers will receive all VonsClub Card discounts and are eligible for sweepstakes conducted in Vons stores, according to the company.

    Vons.com utilizes technology developed by Tesco to enhance communications between the customer at home and their own Vons.com personal shopper. While placing an order, the customer uses a special "notes" feature to type in preferences for ripeness or size of fruit, for example, or the amount of fat they'll accept on a steak. At the time the order is picked in the aisle, the in-store shopper not only checks the computer for the brands and quantities selected, but also spots special customer directives, such as, "I want soft tomatoes," or, "Pick green bananas."

    The regular delivery fee for Vons.com is $9.95, and no minimum order size is required.

    A total of 65 ZIP Code areas and 24 cities in the greater San Diego area are being covered by Vons.com. The total population within the area is approximately 2.3 million.

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