MELROSE PARK, Ill. -- Shop-at-home computer services may have a long way to go before they become commonplace. But Jewel Food Stores here is wasting no time in promoting the service aggressively.
The chain here is running full-page four-color newspaper inserts touting the service to its customers. The latest insert, with a burst proclaiming "Simplified Shopping Is Here," appeared in the Chicago Tribune in mid-July.
The insert advertised a free "starter kit" containing an instructional video and a voucher for 30 days of free service for the first 200 new subscribers. The average cost per week for the service is $7.50. It also included a step-by-step account of how the computerized ordering and home-delivery service, run by Peapod, Evanston, Ill., works.
Jewel officials declined to comment. The chain, though, reportedly has more than 4,000 subscribers to the program. Customers using the service can order items through personal computers, and since last fall through faxes and telephones. A Windows version of the service will be released next year.