HOMERUNS SHUTS DOWN, CITES NEED FOR NEW FUNDING

BURLINGTON, Mass. -- HomeRuns.com here said late last week it had discontinued its online grocery home-delivery service in the two markets it served, the District of Columbia and Boston.According to the company, the service closed because HomeRuns' efforts to raise additional capital were unsuccessful.Launched by Hannaford Bros. Markets, Scarborough, Maine, in 1996, the Internet grocer was spun off

BURLINGTON, Mass. -- HomeRuns.com here said late last week it had discontinued its online grocery home-delivery service in the two markets it served, the District of Columbia and Boston.

According to the company, the service closed because HomeRuns' efforts to raise additional capital were unsuccessful.

Launched by Hannaford Bros. Markets, Scarborough, Maine, in 1996, the Internet grocer was spun off in January 2000, while Hannaford itself was acquired by the Delhaize Group, Brussels, last summer.

Andrew Wolf, senior analyst, BB&T Capital Markets, Richmond, Va., told SN, "HomeRuns had pretty good customer volume and a pretty good idea. They were an urban-centered company.

"Maybe it was only half of a pretty good idea. I went out with one of their delivery teams for a day. The good news was that their customers were close together. The bad news was that there was nowhere to park.

"Their entire gross margin for a delivery could go to paying off a traffic ticket."

Marc van Gelder, president and chief executive officer, Peapod, Chicago, said the closing of his rival was "good news" to his company. "We've picked up volume from HomeRuns in both Chicago and Washington."