Webvan arrives in crowded Chicago market

Chicagoans can now boast they have Webvan coming to their doors. Foster City, Calif.-based The Webvan Group introduced its services to Chicago in August, bringing the e-grocer to four cities nationwide. Webvan will run its Chicago operation from a 370,000 sq. ft. distribution center located in Carol Stream, Ill. The facility will enable the grocer to deliver goods to Chicago customers within 30 minutes. Webvan-Chicago will also deliver books and food from selected local grocers.

Webvan will face stiff competition in Chicago. Peapod, which recently received a $73 million bailout from Dutch grocer Royal Ahold, is ready for battle, as is Massachusetts-based Streamline.com. As an incentive, Webvan plans to offer free delivery for the first three months. Peapod and Streamline both charge for deliveries.

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