Contact: Marie L. McGeehan at Casey Communications, Inc., 314/962-0944 or Dee Wetzel at Schnuck Markets, Inc., 314/994-4608.

July 31, 1998

Schnucks Helps Busy Metro East Customers Save Time at the Grocery Store with On-Line Shopping and Home Delivery Service Beginning Aug. 3

ST. LOUIS -- Schnuck Markets, Inc. will help busy Metro East area residents reduce the frequency of trips to the grocery store with the expansion of its Express Connection on-line shopping and delivery service beginning Aug. 3. Residents will be able to order groceries by accessing Schnucks' home page on the Internet and have their orders delivered.

Residents of 31 cities in 41 zip codes will gain access to the area's first full-scope, on-line grocery shopping service. Customers can select from more than 15,000 products available at area Schnucks. Customers can access Express Connection through the Schnucks home page at www.schnucks.com.

Schnucks Express Connection will be available to customers in Alton, Belleville, Bethalto, Cahokia, Caseyville, Collinsville, Columbia, Cottage Hills, Dupo, East Alton, East Carondelet, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Freeburg, Glen Carbon, Godfrey, Granite City, Hartford, Highland, Madison, Maryville, Millstadt, O'Fallon, Roxana, Smithton, South Roxana, St. Jacob, Troy, Venice, Waterloo and Wood River.

The area includes more than 187,000 households with a population of nearly 495,000 residents. The zip code areas now being served include: 62002, 62010, 62018, 62024, 62025, 62026, 62034, 62035, 62040, 62048, 62060, 62062, 62084, 62087, 62090, 62095, 62201, 62203, 62204, 62205, 62206, 62207, 62208, 62220, 62221, 62223, 62225, 62226, 62232, 62234, 62236, 62239, 62240, 62243, 62249, 62260, 62269, 62281, 62285, 62294 and 62298.

Schnucks' Express Connection was first introduced last June in 52 Missouri zip codes in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, plus Arnold and Fenton in northern Jefferson County. Service since has expanded to north St. Louis County, Cape Girardeau and St. Charles County in Missouri, the Illinois communities of Bloomington, Champaign and Springfield, and Evansville, Ind.

"We are very excited to expand our Express Connection on-line service to customers in the Metro East," said Scott C. Schnuck, president and chief operating officer of Schnucks. "We wanted to ensure we could provide the same quality of service we have developed on the St. Louis side of the river before we expanded. Our customers love the convenience of shopping from home and we know Metro East customers will appreciate the modifications we have made since introducing the service," Schnuck said.

Schnucks Express Connection delivers seven days a week. Customers can select from delivery times of 10 a.m. to noon and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Sunday deliveries are made between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Orders can be delivered the same day if ordered by 11 a.m. or the next morning if ordered by 7 p.m.

Express Connection same-day delivery costs $12.95. Next-day delivery costs $9.95. Express Connection estimates delivery cost at the end of the on-line shopping trip. On-line shoppers can pay with credit card when ordering or by check upon delivery. Schnucks uses the latest encryption technology to ensure personal information, such as a credit card number, is not intercepted by a third party.

Customer orders will be shopped and delivered from the Schnucks Swansea store at 2665 N. Illinois St. and the Edwardsville store at 2222 Troy Road. J.S. Express will handle shopping and delivery. J.S. Express staff wear Schnucks Express Connection shirts for easy identification. "J. S. Express has exceeded our expectations in quality of service," said Larry Maggio, director of marketing services for Schnucks. "We know our customers will also be pleased with their service."

For customers not yet on the Internet, Schnucks offers POSTnet Internet access kits for 99 cents in St. Louis and Metro East area stores and video superstores.

When Schnucks customers buy the start-up kit, they will receive customized POSTnet software including Microsoft Internet Explorer, an easy-to-follow surfer's manual and a special discounted subscription with the 13th month free. Monthly subscription cost is $19.95. Schnucks Express Connection offers first-time users a step-by-step guide to placing an order. The "Frequently Asked Questions" answers many of the most popular questions customers have when using the service.

Customers visiting the on-line Schnucks will find their favorite products in the same department as their neighborhood Schnucks. For example, an on-line shopper will click on "Dairy Department" to review lists of milk, cheese and other dairy products. Since introducing the service, Schnucks has added several features suggested by users to make the service easier and quicker to use. A "Search" function helps customers find a product when they do not know what "department" stocks it. Customers also can instantly build a "favorites" list as they shop. Most product listings include a full-color product photo to facilitate selection.

"The leading category of user for Schnucks' on-line shopping are members of two- income households stretched for time," said Maggio. Schnucks' experience matches research that shows three out of four on-line shoppers are women and most are between 25 and 50 years old. About half of all on-line users have children under 18 and even more work in management positions. "Senior citizens also use the service a lot," said Maggio. "That number would probably be higher if more seniors had computers."

On-line shopping for groceries has become more popular throughout the country in the past year. Experts predict that somewhere between three percent and 15 percent of grocery shopping will be done on-line within three years. 1997 supermarket sales totaled more than $300 billion according to the Food Marketing Institute. "The potential for this on-line service could be huge," said Schnuck.

Schnuck said he has been pleased with the number of customers using the service. "We have had enthusiastic reception for on-line shopping and delivery and we are seeing continued growth in use. Best of all, we believe we are helping many of our customers ease time management stress and transportation dilemmas," said Schnuck.

Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 89 stores in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. The family-owned company was founded in St. Louis in 1939.


Webmaster's Note: A complete list of Metro East communities which will be served by Schnucks Express Connection beginning August 3 can be viewed at http://www.schnucks.com/express/map_metroil.html.