Webvan: The New and Improved Milkman

By Haim Mendelson
2001 | Case No. EC31
This business case study focuses on Webvan, a company that set out, in June 1999 to build a nationwide infrastructure to deliver food products to consumers. Webvan put together a sophisticated distribution and information system that was optimized from the ground up for e-commerce. The company went public on November 5, 1999 at an offering price of $15, but by March of 2001, the stock had declined to less than a dollar per share. The case asks whether or not Webvan’s online grocery business model is doomed to fail, as have many of the company’s competitors.
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