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    Lowe's Chooses StoreNext Connected Services

    CHICAGO - Littlefield, Texas-based Lowe's Food Stores, Inc. has selected StoreNext Retail Technologies, LLC's Connected Services as its preferred hosting solution. Initially, Lowe's will use StoreNext's Connected Item Hosting and Connected Direct Store Delivery (C-DSD) applications. The announcement was made at the 2004 FMI Show here.

    CHICAGO - Littlefield, Texas-based Lowe's Food Stores, Inc. has selected StoreNext Retail Technologies, LLC's Connected Services as its preferred hosting solution. Initially, Lowe's will use StoreNext's Connected Item Hosting and Connected Direct Store Delivery (C-DSD) applications. The announcement was made at the 2004 FMI Show here.

    StoreNext's connected applications will be employed in Lowe's 65 stores throughout Texas and New Mexico to provide a centralized, Web-based item and price management system that doesn't require upfront software, hardware and staffing costs. StoreNext and Lowe's will work with Amarillo, Texas-based Affiliated Foods, Inc., Lowe's wholesaler, to automate and configure item and pricing data for all stores.

    "StoreNext's Connected Services is building a reputation for leveling the IT playing field for independent grocers, and they've certainly helped us," said Rory Glidewell, Lowe's IS director. "The Connected Item Hosting and C-DSD applications cost about 50 percent less than similar systems and allow data sharing between our stores and our wholesaler, so we can make accurate order forecasts that lead to reduced costs."

    Lowe's will combine these applications with the recently installed Connected Store Analytics & Reporting (C-STAR) and Connected Electronic Journal modules from StoreNext. The retailer uses StoreNext's ISS45 store software with Fujitsu Transaction Solution's TeamPoS point-of-sale (POS) terminals and scanner/scales, as well as Fujitsu's mobile iPAD handheld computer running CE.NET. Lubbock, Texas-based Cash Register Services, Inc. provides infrastructure management services.

    "StoreNext's Connected Services, combined with Fujitsu's hardware and software, makes a complete solution that we could only dream about a few years ago," Glidewell added. "The ability to access our store data anytime, anywhere helps us quickly analyze information and even apply POS software updates, whether we're in the store or on the road. All we need is a Web browser."

    "Lowe's is the first grocery chain to use our Connected Item Hosting and C-DSD applications, and we believe their IT strategy is a good model for the independent grocery industry to follow," said Ray Carlin, president and c.e.o. at Plano, Texas-based StoreNext. "Small-chain grocers must reshape their businesses to survive against the retail giants, and information technology is vital to achieving that goal. StoreNext can provide the technology and services to help make that happen."

    Connected Item Hosting (CIH) fully integrates with StoreNext's ISS45 POS platform and supports all the major data components, including the item file, price file, promotions engine, and more. It also supports the entire life cycle of an item or promotion, from creation to pricing to final chain-store distribution. Connected Item Hosting acts as the master item catalog and manages UPC files across every store in the chain while serving as a data repository for other Connected Services modules.

    Connected Direct Store Delivery provides small grocery chains with automated receiving functions without the need of a back-office system. It allows Web-based cost management and supervision of vendor check-in, ensuring accurate costs and profitable margins for the grocer. C-DSD also features a documents manager that allows the auditing and updating of receiving documents.

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