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Webvan drives into dotcom Death Valley

Joins rivals in dotcom grocer graveyard

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US online grocer Webvan has quit trading and plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The California-based outfit, which managed to outlive rivals such as Kozmo and Urbanfetch, said today it would conduct an "orderly wind down" of its business.

Deliveries of existing orders will stop and the company will take no fresh orders in any market.

The assets of the company, which operated in seven US cities including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, have also been put up for sale. Around 2,000 jobs have been lost.

Webvan CEO Robert Swan blamed a sales slowdown in the second quarter ended June 30, which meant the company needed increasing amounts of cash.

"Webvan has weathered numerous challenges, and in a different climate I believe that our business model would prove successful," said Swan.

"At the end of the day, however, the clock has run out on us."

Webvan had around 750,000 customers.

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