I WATCH

Webvan Group, Foster City, Calif., maintained its top ranking in quarterly rankings of e-commerce grocers by Internet research firm Gomez Advisors, Lincoln, Mass. Webvan achieved the highest overall score among the 12 services ranked by Gomez in five categories (ease of use, consumer confidence, on-site resources, relationship services and overall cost). Albertson's, Boise, Idaho, ranked second overall,

Webvan Group, Foster City, Calif., maintained its top ranking in quarterly rankings of e-commerce grocers by Internet research firm Gomez Advisors, Lincoln, Mass. Webvan achieved the highest overall score among the 12 services ranked by Gomez in five categories (ease of use, consumer confidence, on-site resources, relationship services and overall cost). Albertson's, Boise, Idaho, ranked second overall, followed by ShopLink.com, Westwood, Mass.; Home Grocer.com, Kirkland, Wash., and Peapod, Chicago.

outsourced certain of its information technology services to Siemens Business Services, Burlington, Mass. Streamline has already allowed Siemens to host its SAP R/3 order-processing applications at its New Jersey facility and will phase in Siemens at its other locations over the next few months. Streamline said the deal would allow it to reduce its hardware and IT costs by 50%.

Publix, Lakeland, Fla., has narrowed its search for distribution centers from which it plans to launch an e-commerce venture, reports last week said. Publix, which said last month it would form a separate subsidiary to develop an Internet shopping and delivery service, is reportedly eyeing industrial sites in the South Florida cities of Pompano Beach, Miramar, Weston and Hollywood, the South Florida Business Journal said. Publix hopes to offer on-line shopping sometime in 2001.

Peachtree Network, Montreal, said it has named Clive Hatoon as its chief financial officer. Hatoon previously headed financial engineering at GE Capital Equipment Finance. Peachtree also named Neil Willoughby manager of media partnerships and data mining, and Shawna Steinberg was named content manager. Peachtree partners with regional grocers and food suppliers, allowing food ordering and delivery in the U.S. and Canada.