Peapod Is In A Pickle

The online grocer may be the first of many e-tailers to falter

Online grocer Peapod Inc. always seemed like a risky proposition. After all, not many people want to buy groceries sight-unseen online. That didn't stop Peapod from raising $58 million in an initial public offering three years ago. But now, with CEO William Malloy quitting on Mar. 16 and investors backing out of a pledge to sink in an additional $120 million, Peapod is on the ropes. The Skokie (Ill.) outfit declined to comment on its condition. But it does acknowledge that it is looking for a buyer, and analysts say it could fail without new cash.

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