In 1996, it launched its website and became one of the earliest internet start-ups; the company made the Inc. 500 list of fast-growing privately held US companies. It parlayed this success and good press into an IPO on NASDAQ. Between 1997 and 2000, Peapod expanded into Boston and Watertown, Massachusetts, Long Island, New York, and Norwalk, Connecticut in partnership with Stop & Shop. In late 2000, they entered Washington, DC and surrounding towns with Giant Food.
The year 2000 also saw a fundamental change in Peapod's corporate structure. Worldwide grocery giant Royal Ahold bought 51% of Peapod's shares in June 2000. In August 2001, Royal Ahold bought out the entire company. As a result, Peapod cancelled its contracts with all grocery companies except for Royal Ahold's two main American chains, Stop & Shop and Giant Food. This caused Peapod to abandon San Francisco and Houston entirely, but the company maintained service, albeit with some interruptions and inconveniences, everywhere else.
- Andrew and Thomas Parkinson pioneer the online grocery delivery concept, establishing Peapod in Evanston, Ill. Combining backgrounds in consumer product marketing (Andrew was a brand manager with Procter & Gamble and Kraft) and technology expertise (Thomas, an ex-P&G Sales guy and the founder of a software company), the brothers establish Peapod as a lifestyle solution for busy families
- Peapod software ran on MS-DOS as a client server application talking to an SCO Unix system running on a Dell 386. Disks were sold for $49.95.
- Peapod partners with Chicago-area Jewel Food Stores to fulfill orders. During the early days, Andrew, Thomas and their families do the picking and packing—making deliveries with their own cars
- Peapod begins test marketing to about 400 households in Evanston, Ill. The company provides software and modems for customers who have to dial-in directly to the Peapod shopping system
- With Evanston, IL, proving a success, Peapod expands its service to the surrounding suburbs and Chicago
- Peapod launches service in San Francisco with Safeway
- Peapod launches its first advertising campaign; the company gains 4,600 members. (Until this time, Peapod built its customer base largely through word of mouth.)
- Peapod initiates service in Columbus, Ohio with The Kroger Company
- Peapod reaches a customer base of 43,200
- Peapod partners with Stop & Shop (a subsidiary of Royal Ahold) to offer “Peapod by Stop & Shop” in the Boston metro area
- Peapod joins the Internet, launching its own Web site: www.peapod.com
- Inc. magazine names Peapod to the “Inc. 500” ranking of the fastest-growing U.S. private companies
- Peapod launches with Kroger in Columbus, OH.
- Peapod opens the first Stop & Shop wareroom in Watertown, Mass., just outside Boston
- In June, Peapod completes a successful initial public offering listing it’s shares on the NASDAQ
- Michael Brennan joins the company
- Peapod initiates service on Long Island, N.Y., with Stop & Shop, and in Texas with Randalls and Tom Thumb
- July 24th, Peapod delivers its 1 millionth order, to a customer in Chicago
- After growing business in the Chicago market, Peapod pursues a centralized distribution model: moving from 12 store locations to one dedicated warehouse outside Chicago, in Niles, IL, and one dedicated warehouse in San Francisco.
- Webvan launches in San Francisco.
- Peapod hires COO of AT&T Wireless, Bill Malloy as CEO.
- March 9th, Peapod’s $120 million private financing deal collapses as Malloy resigns due to health reasons.
- May, Royal Ahold purchases.
- In May, Peapod names current president and CEO, Marc van Gelder. Van Gelder joins the company from Stop & Shop, a subsidiary of Royal Ahold
- In June, Royal Ahold takes a 51 percent ownership
- Peapod initiates service in Norwalk, Conn., with Stop & Shop
- In September, Peapod acquires Streamline.com operations in Chicago and Washington, DC
- In November, Peapod partners with Giant Food (a Royal Ahold subsidiary) to launch “Peapod by Giant” in the Washington, DC, Metro area
- Webvan buys rival Homegrocer.
- Peapod begins servicing communities in Virginia and Maryland, partnering with Giant Food
- In August, Royal Ahold buys the remaining shares of Peapod, establishing the Internet grocer as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the international foodservice company
- Peapod pursues a bricks-and-clicks strategy, engaging in exclusive relationships with Ahold U.S.A. grocers--Stop & Shop and Giant Food--and planning growth in markets where these grocers have a presence.
- Peapod replaces its Niles, Ill., warehouse with a new 75,000-square foot, climate-controlled distribution center (a former Streamline.com facility) in Lake Zurich, IL. Webvan files for bankruptcy.
- Peapod by Stop & Shop expands service to Cape Cod, Mass.
- Peapod achieves profitability in four out of five markets
- In April, Peapod introduces service in Hartford, Conn., with Stop & Shop
- In July, Peapod delivers its 5 millionth order, to a customer in Chicago
- In October, Peapod initiates service in New Haven, Conn. With Stop & Shop
- Peapod introduces Q1 service in R.I.
- Peapod achieves profitability in five out of six markets
- Peapod opens in New Jersey
- Peapod opens more territory in New Jersey and Long Island
- February 7th, Peapod delivers its 10 millionth order
using Giant Food: