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    IBM Acquires Retail Self-Checkout Leader PSI

    RALEIGH, N.C. - IBM has acquired Productivity Solutions Inc. (PSI), a leader in the fast-growing market of automated self-checkout solutions.

    RALEIGH, N.C. - IBM has acquired Productivity Solutions Inc. (PSI), a leader in the fast-growing market of automated self-checkout solutions.

    "Self-checkout is a powerful new technology option for retailers to help them increase the number of checkout lanes, and thus the speed and convenience of checkout, without adding labor costs," said Tom Peterson, general manager, IBM Retail Store Solutions.

    "In the retail industry, we're in the very early stage of seeing new technologies like self-checkout, kiosks, intelligent shopping carts and other wireless devices fundamentally change how retailers interact with their customers. Helping retailers leverage this powerful new trend is a cornerstone of IBM's retail on demand strategy."

    Privately-held PSI, based in Jacksonville, Fla., will be integrated into IBM's Retail Store Solutions division. Financial terms of the deal were not released. PSI employs approximately 140 people, the large majority of whom work in its Jacksonville, Florida, facility.

    In a study released in June, IHL Consulting Group reported that the installed base of self-checkout systems rose dramatically in 2002, with the number of self-checkout lanes increasing 47 percent over 2001 among North American retailers. IHL estimated that the self-checkout segment in retail technology should surpass $1 billion in overall market value by 2005, and added that grocers who have installed self-checkout are seeing as much as 35 percent of their store volume purchased through self checkout.

    Since early 2001, IBM and PSI have been co-marketing PSI's self-checkout solution, which has included IBM retail-hardened components and IBM services. PSI's existing customers include BJ's Wholesale Club, Food Lion, Giant Eagle, Giant of Landover, Knowlan's Super Markets, Lowe's Foods, Spartan Stores, Stop & Shop, Weis Markets, Big Y Foods, and Winn Dixie.

    "Consumers are telling us that they like self-checkout and value the choice, convenience and control it offers them. Therefore, retailers are looking to rapidly integrate self-checkout into their stores," said Michael Persky, president and c.o.o., PSI, who will become v.p. of self-checkout for IBM.

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