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    IRI Collaborates With Costco Wholesale to Test Item and Category Movement Execution

    CHICAGO - Information Resources Inc., a provider of content and analytic services to the consumer packaged goods, retail, and healthcare industries, and Costco Wholesale have announced plans to test the Costco Collaborative Retail Exchange (CRX) program.

    CHICAGO - Information Resources Inc., a provider of content and analytic services to the consumer packaged goods, retail, and healthcare industries, and Costco Wholesale have announced plans to test the Costco Collaborative Retail Exchange (CRX) program. The program will test providing direct, interactive access to Costco's store/warehouse-specific, weekly, item-level Point-of-Sale data in nearly real time.

    This first of its kind program allows selected manufacturers to access and utilize Costco's data in a structured, collaborative platform that reflects Costco's unique category and geography definitions. The exclusive program is designed to accelerate mutual business growth through improved item and promotional management.

    The CRX program delivers multiple business benefits, including the ability to:

    -- Quickly identify new item progress;

    -- Consistently monitor category and product performance by store in a time frame that allows for meaningful action;

    -- Understand success drivers within store groups or geography;

    -- Proactively measure promotional program execution; and

    -- Improve analytic productivity.

    "CRX allows manufacturers to gain new visibility into previously unmeasured retail outlets," said Scott W. Klein, president and c.e.o. of IRI. "We are very pleased to be partnering with a prominent leader like Costco. By delivering timely visibility into the performance of items and brands in Costco stores, manufacturers have a tremendous opportunity to improve their sales and begin uncovering real growth opportunities."

    Costco Wholesale currently operates 432 warehouses, including 319 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 63 in Canada, 15 in the United Kingdom, five in Korea, three in Taiwan, four in Japan, and 23 in Mexico. The company plans to open an additional eight to 10 new warehouses prior to the end of its fiscal year 2004 on Aug. 29, 2004.

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