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IndustryOnline retailer
FateMerger acquisition by Webvan in 2000
HeadquartersBellevue, Washington, then Kirkland, Washington
Key people
James Fierro (co-Founder), Mike Donald (co-Founder), Terry Drayton (CEO), Ken Deering (SVP, Storefront), Bob Duffy (CTO), Jon Landers (SVP, Marketing)
Number of employees
2400, Inc. was an online supermarket business.

The company was originally started in 1997 by Terry Drayton, Mike Donald, James Fierro and Ken Deering.


The product selection was a complete alternative to the traditional supermarket at comparable prices with a reputation they earned for top quality fresh produce, seafood and meat.

Deliveries were made in custom tri-temperature trucks with the distinctive HomeGrocer peach logo.[1]

Customer support was very strong and new facilities were opened in Portland, OR in May 1999, in Renton, WA in September 1999, in Irvine, CA in October 1999,[2] in Fullerton, CA in January 2000,[3] in Carson, CA in February 2000 in Azusa, CA in March, 2000, in San Diego, CA in April 2000 and in Dallas, TX in May, 2000.

Each of these new facilities operated 7 days a week and all were 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2) with 50 delivery vehicles and a staff of 200. Daily sales reached over $1M per day by June 2000, at which time a total of 16 additional HomeGrocer facilities were under construction in markets including Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Washington, DC. and Denver, CO.

HomeGrocer developed all of its own technology including its award winning website, its wireless picking systems that used WiFi, and its driver "smart phones", all years before they were mainstream.[4]

HomeGrocer completed a $288M IPO in March 2000 underwritten by Morgan Stanley and DLJ but needed more capital to meet the aggressive roll-out that was already well underway. With the onset of the dot-com boom, this capital became unavailable at any price, thereby leaving the company few alternatives to survive. In September 2000, stockholders approved a $1.2B all stock buyout by the cash-rich competitor Webvan of the much larger[5]

HomeGrocer was rebranded to Webvan, the management team fired and the technology and processes converted to Webvan. The Webvan technology did not work very well and their execution was poor. Most telling, the eight different HomeGrocer facilities converted to Webvan saw overnight sales declines of one-third, then over 50% within two weeks and never recovered. Formerly profitable HomeGrocer facilities quickly ended up with significant losses. Studies of what happened after the merger were not kind to the original Webvan management who spent over $500M before going bankrupt less than a year later.[6][7][8][9][10]

HomeGrocer sales peaked in November 2000 at over $1.5M, per day making it the largest Internet grocery business ever created, until UK-based Ocado exceeded it in 2010. The HomeGrocer brand was purchased out of bankruptcy and eventually ended up being owned by[11]


HomeGrocer raised a total of $440M in investments from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers,, John Malone of Liberty Media, Solstice, Martha Stewart and Jim Barksdale.[12][13]


  1. ^ Virtual Groceries
  2. ^ HomeGrocer launches in Southern California
  3. ^ HomeGrocer expands in Southern California
  4. ^ Terry Drayton's Net Heavies Could Help HomeGrocer Deliver
  5. ^ Webvan bags HomeGrocer
  6. ^ "Anatomy of a failed merger: Webvan and HomeGrocer" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-04-29. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
  7. ^ Terry Drayton says Webvan is gone but HomeGrocer may return
  8. ^ Webvan bags HomeGrocer for $1.2 billion
  9. ^ HomeGrocer-Webvan: A timeline - July 9, 2001 version
  10. ^ HomeGrocer-Webvan: A timeline - May 6, 2001 version
  11. ^ "AMAZON.COM TAKES STAKE IN HOMEGROCER". Supermarket News. 1999-05-24. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  12. ^ Amazon invests in HomeGrocer
  13. ^ Barksdale invests in HomeGrocer