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    U.S. Retail IT Spending to Resume Growth in 2003 and Beyond, IDC Says

    FRAMINGHAM, Mass., -- While IT spending by the U.S. retail industry decreased by 3.4% in 2002 from the prior year, IDC anticipates that IT spending will increase again in the retail industry in 2003 and reach $29.6 billion by 2007, representing a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3%.

    FRAMINGHAM, Mass., -- While IT spending by the U.S. retail industry decreased by 3.4% in 2002 from the prior year, IDC anticipates that IT spending will increase again in the retail industry in 2003 and reach $29.6 billion by 2007, representing a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3%.

    "The retail industry ended 2002 much than it began the year," notes Christopher Boone, program manager for IDC's United States IT Opportunity: Retail and Wholesale program. "IT budgets were negatively impacted as the year progressed and retailers struggled to manage costs and meet profit goals. Despite the setback in 2002, we expect retail IT spending to resume growth in 2003 and beyond."

    To take advantage of opportunities associated with forecasted increases in retail IT spending, IDC recommends that IT vendors do the following:

    * Identify solutions that improve retailers' margins

    * Create solutions that can be implemented in short time frames and with a measurable return on investment (ROI)

    * Search out business units that benefit from IT projects to get their financial support

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