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17.08.1999
Le-Shop.ch and Bon appétit Group want to boost online grocery retailing together

Chavannes-de-Bogis / Moosseedorf, 17 August 1999

Through its cooperation with Bon appétit Group, Le-Shop.ch plans to expand its lead in the Swiss online grocery market.

Bon appétit Group has taken a 33.3 percent stake in Le-Shop SA, Switzerland's first Internet supermarket. The founders of Le-Shop.ch are retaining the majority shareholding. The two partner companies will be jointly working towards the rapid expansion of e-commerce in Switzerland. Both are convinced that their strategic partnership will take Le-Shop.ch to the top of the Swiss online grocery market.


Le-Shop.ch: Switzerland's first Internet supermarket offering home delivery nationwide
Le-Shop.ch is the first Swiss Internet supermarket which, thanks to its partnership with Swiss Post, offers a nationwide home delivery service. By offering a combination of high-quality foods, a personalized service based on customer needs and the convenience of home delivery, Le-Shop.ch is seeking to enhance its customers' quality of life. Within 15 months of its founding, Le-Shop.ch now has 3,000 active customers spending an average of CHF 140 per purchase (compared with CHF 40-60 in traditional retailing). Since August 1998, sales at Le-Shop.ch show a compounded average monthly growth rate of 20%. This development is due on the one hand to the expansion of its offering and on the other hand to its systematic marketing drive, which is directed specifically at a female clientele. Surveys have shown that in Swiss households women still have prime responsibility for regular food purchases. The customer base has thus changed radically as the proportion of women has grown from 16% a year ago to 60% now. The relative importance of young families (the biggest spenders in the food field) has also risen steadily: they now account for 32% of regular customers, compared with just 6% a year ago.

Bon appétit Group believes in the future of online grocery shopping
Bon appétit Group is Switzerland's leading listed company in the food trade. By acquiring one-third of the share capital of Le-Shop.ch, it is pursuing one of its main strategies, which - in the words of Bon appétit Group CEO Mario Fontana - is to open up new markets and boost e-commerce activities. Bon appétit Group will now be able to step up its acquisition of e-commerce expertise, as Le-Shop.ch - a pioneer in the field - has a wealth of experience in the development and sale of Internet services. Furthermore, the Bon appétit Group is entering the e-commerce field through net-tissimo.com, a joint venture between Bon appétit Group and Artificial life which will go online in autumn 1999. The Group's participation in Le-Shop.ch will also help cement its relations with customers. Surveys in the USA - where consumers have been purchasing groceries through the Internet for some years - show that the frequency of customer contacts is very high (47 per year) and that a high degree of customer loyalty is achieved (80% of a household's groceries are bought from one online retailer).

Le-Shop.ch to step up expansion plans thanks to cooperation with Bon appétit Group
After its startup phase, Bon appétit Group's participating interest will now enable Le-Shop.ch to press ahead with its expansion plans, notably faster customer acquisition, enhancement of website functionalities and Europe-wide growth. According to Le-Shop.ch CEO Alain Nicod, the company is also planning to expand its product range, especially by upgrading its fresh produce and convenience product offerings. Nicod is convinced that Bon appétit Group is the right partner for Le-Shop.ch. Online food retailing is a new field for Europe, so new solutions are much in demand. For Le-Shop.ch, it is important to have a partner that addresses the new challenges with a similar degree of enthusiasm. Moreover, Bon appétit Group is able to offer Le-Shop.ch not only financial backing but also in-depth knowledge of the retail field in which it operates.

Le-Shop.ch aims to establish itself as Switzerland's No. 1 online food market
By cooperating with Bon appétit Group, Le-Shop.ch is setting itself a clear objective: it aims to establish itself as Switzerland's No. 1 in the online grocery market. It will attain this goal by adapting its service offering to customer needs, expanding its product range, ensuring top quality standards for all products, upgrading its website functionalities and systematically implementing its one-to-one marketing concept.

Pour de plus amples informations :
www.bon-appetit.ch et www.leshop.ch

Pour des informations plus détaillées, prière de s'adresser à :

Alain Nicod, Président du Conseil d'administration
Tél. +41 22 960 89 99

Mario Fontana, CEO Bon appétit Group
Tél: 031 858 48 48 - e-mail :
m.fontana@bon-appetit.ch


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Bon appétit Group (www.bon-appetit.ch) est le leader suisse des entreprises alimentaires cotées en Bourse. La société est née en juin 1999 du regroupement de Bon appétit Holding SA (Libre-service pour gastronomie et restauration itinérante) et de Usego Hofer Curti SA (marché de gros à l'emporter et commerce de détail). Bon appétit Group est active dans le commerce électronique (e-commerce) par le biais de l'entreprise net-tissimo.com (une coentreprise avec Artificial life), qui sera "on line" à partir de l'automne 1999. En 1998, Bon appétit Group a réalisé, avec ses 6'000 collaboratrices et collaborateurs, un chiffre d'affaires pro forma de CHF 3,3 milliards.

LeShop.ch
est le premier supermarché sur Internet de Suisse. Depuis le printemps 1998, il propose à l'adresse suivante : www.leshop.ch. env. 3'000 articles de marque d'usage courant à une clientèle toujours plus nombreuse. Le-Shop a réussi à se positionner au niveau international parmi les meilleurs vendeurs de denrées alimentaires sur Internet grâce à l'utilisation ciblée de la technologie "One-to-One" pour personnaliser son offre et la collaboration avec La Poste. Le-Shop est depuis l'année dernière en plein essor. Depuis le mois d'août 1998, il affiche un taux de croissance moyen de 20% par mois et un chiffre d'affaires qui double tous les 5 mois. Il réalise environ 70% de son chiffre d'affaires avec des clients habituels.


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