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    Lowe's Food Stores and Pro & Sons Celebrate 'Independents Day' With StoreNext

    PLANO, Texas - In a move designed to reinforce its position as the "brother-in-arms" to the independent grocer, StoreNext Retail Technologies LLC this month launched its Declaration for Independents campaign.

    PLANO, Texas - In a move designed to reinforce its position as the "brother-in-arms" to the independent grocer, StoreNext Retail Technologies LLC this month launched its Declaration for Independents campaign.

    "Independents play a vital role in the retail food industry as well as our economy, and have an inalienable right to compete for consumers' food dollars," said StoreNext c.e.o. Ray Carlin. "It's now time for our nation's independents to assert their independence. They've suffered technological disadvantage against national chains for far too long."

    As part of the campaign StoreNext's "Bill of Rights" outlines 10 guiding principles for success when independents partner with StoreNext for technology solutions, using the company's Connected Services solution -- a portfolio of Web-based store management applications, which is offered to individual stores and chains on a subscription basis.

    Roger Lowe, c.e.o. of Lowe's Food Stores in Littlefield, Texas and Jeff Provenzano, c.i.o. of Pro & Sons Ranch Markets in Ontario, Calif., spoke with Progressive Grocer about StoreNext's Bill of Rights and its relevance to independent grocers.

    "The beauty of Connected Services is that it is written specifically for independents," said Lowe about Bill No. III (see below). "It is not built to one set standard, but is tailored to meet our needs."

    Lowe uses StoreNext's warehouse applications, which allow the company's 64 co-op supermarkets to more efficiently negotiate with vendors through the company’s warehouse.

    Said David Fuller, v.p. of Cash Register Services, the reseller that works with Lowe's, about Bill No. IV, which deals with ROI: "There is no upfront expense. You pay only for what you use, so the ROI is immediate."

    Removing costs from its technology services has helped Provenzano to better compete against larger chains -- a right addressed in StoreNext's Bill No. I. "Some of the applications we access we'd normally have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for if we ran it from our system," he explained. "Plus there is virtually no maintenance -- all updates are hosted on StoreNext's servers; we just enjoy the benefits of the added functionality."

    Provenzano uses StoreNext Connected Services for its web-based reporting tools, including department sales and item-level sales applications, and additionally employs its centralized pricing module, which he said also helps drive ROI.

    Provenzano will be implementing StoreNext's loss prevention applications shortly, and expects the module's exception-based reporting to deliver strong ROI, as well.

    The Independents' Bill of Rights, written by StoreNext, are listed below:

    I. Every independent grocer has the right to compete with industry giants on a level technology playing field.

    II. Independent grocers have the right to increase their productivity and profitability through cost-effective store management systems.

    III. Independents deserve IT solutions that are tailored to their own business models.

    IV. Independent grocers have the right to demand immediate and measurable ROI from their IT resources.

    V. Independents have the right to protect their technology investments against future changes in IT standards.

    VI. No independent shall be without exceptional IT service and support.

    VII. Every independent has the right to take full advantage of the power of the Internet.

    VIII. Independents shall be free to create economies of scale through a community of shared services.

    IX. Independents shall not be denied a technology vendor that is fully committed to serving their specific needs.

    X. Independent grocers have the right to rely on StoreNext for ongoing support and innovative solutions.

    --Joseph Tarnowski

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