FORMER RETAILER STARTS SUPPLIER SITE

TORONTO -- A former brand manager at Loblaw here, Michael Ricciardi has launched a Web site that he believes will make it easier for retailers to find the right suppliers.Launched in May, MondoPages.com allows retailers, free of charge, to narrow their search by accessing only suppliers that fit their -- and their suppliers' -- requirements. Suppliers are charged $399 per year."I was never able to

TORONTO -- A former brand manager at Loblaw here, Michael Ricciardi has launched a Web site that he believes will make it easier for retailers to find the right suppliers.

Launched in May, MondoPages.com allows retailers, free of charge, to narrow their search by accessing only suppliers that fit their -- and their suppliers' -- requirements. Suppliers are charged $399 per year.

"I was never able to find a list of suppliers that I knew would sell to me," said Ricciardi, now president of MondoPages.com, based here. "I would get a list of 30 suppliers, and I had no idea if they sold to Canada, Germany or Italy. I ended up wasting time and money simply trying to find the right ones."

MondoPages.com uses a search engine feature that allows retailers to input specific information about what they are seeking, Ricciardi said. The site is able to narrow the search by requiring suppliers to furnish detailed information on products, supply preferences and locations served, he noted. A retailer in upstate New York could identify an Italian pasta supplier who sells to that area, but not ones that sell only in Europe, for example.

Still under development, MondoPages.com last week had 67 registered suppliers, including Procter & Gamble, Del Monte and Tabasco.