ALBERTSON'S TESTS INTERNET HOME SHOPPING IN DALLAS/FORT WORTH

BOISE, Idaho -- Albertson's customers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area are ordering groceries on-line and receiving home delivery of items through the retailer's pilot program for its Internet home-shopping service.Albertson's here is using a separate location in Fort Worth as its fulfillment center for on-line orders. A local third party is partnering with Albertson's to provide delivery of groceries

BOISE, Idaho -- Albertson's customers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area are ordering groceries on-line and receiving home delivery of items through the retailer's pilot program for its Internet home-shopping service.

Albertson's here is using a separate location in Fort Worth as its fulfillment center for on-line orders. A local third party is partnering with Albertson's to provide delivery of groceries to customers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, which includes outlying cities and those between Dallas and Fort Worth.

Depending on the service's success, Albertson's will expand to other markets, according to Mike Read, spokesman for Albertson's. "We have been exploring home shopping for well over a year, but it has only been in a test phase in this market for just a couple of months," said Read. The service launched in May, according to a source familiar with the program.

"As with any new program, you want to make sure it will have a high degree of customer acceptance and ease of use," Read said. "We're still trying to make sure that we feel it's right and, of course, we'll probably still make refinements after we roll it out more." Customers placing orders of more than $60 receive free delivery; orders below $60 accrue a charge of $5.95. Orders placed before 9 a.m. are delivered later that day, otherwise customers can choose a delivery time into the early evening the following day, according to the source.

Albertson's chose to test the service in Dallas/Fort Worth because "we have a large market presence and we're easily identified there," Read said.