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Webvan set to shut down
Struggling online grocer set to announce shutdown, Chapter 11
July 9, 2001: 6:55 a.m. ET
OAKLAND, Calif. (CNN) - Troubled online grocer Webvan Group Inc. apparently has lost its battle to stay alive and is expected to announce Monday that it has shut down its operations and may be filing for bankruptcy protection.
Setting the stage for the shutdown, Webvan employees in Oakland were called into emergency meetings Sunday night and told of the latest development, employees exiting the Webvan facility said.
"They called us into a room and told us they had filed Chapter 11," Webvan (WBVN: Research, Estimates) employee Jim Aust said. "That we were done as of now. We were finished."
Employees also were given notice of a shutdown at the company's Seattle facility.
"It was unfair, because they screwed up our livelihoods," said Webvan worker Tracy Owens. "They played with our whole lives. I left a job with six years to come here. It's just completely unfair."
A spokesman would not confirm Webvan's status.
"We will be issuing a statement at 5:30 (8:30 a.m. EDT) Monday morning," said Bud Grebey of Webvan media relations. The company also has scheduled a news conference for the same time at its Foster City, Calif., headquarters, Grebey told CNN.
Calls to the company's 800 number were answered with the recorded message, "Our customer service center is currently closed."
The Webvan Web site, Webvan.com, was inaccessible.
In April, Webvan canceled service in Atlanta, cut its work force and named a new chief executive as part of a corporate-wide restructuring effort to keep the company afloat. At that point, the company had 3,500 employees.
Webvan's stock closed Friday at 6 cents a share.
Under Chapter 11 of federal bankruptcy laws, a company is protected from creditors, usually as it tries to reorganize.
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