Circuit City Selects Informix for "Computer Build-To-Order Station"; New In-Store Kiosk System Enables Circuit City to Compete for Build-To-Order Personal Computer Business

08:10 a.m. Oct 12, 1998 Eastern

MENLO PARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 12, 1998--Informix Corp., the technology leader in enterprise database-powered solutions, today announced that Circuit City Stores, Inc. has selected Informix(R) Dynamic Server(tm) as the database for its Computer Build-To-Order Station in-store kiosk system.

The Computer Build-To-Order Station provides a way for Circuit City's customers to browse, select and configure computer systems from leading brand-name manufacturers. Currently, NEC and HP are rolled out nationally, and IBM and Compaq will join them shortly. The eye-catching kiosks were deployed in select stores starting in June of this year and are now installed in all Superstores nationwide.

The Informix database at the heart of Circuit City's new system ensures that customers using Computer Build-To-Order Station kiosks are presented with the latest product information and, most importantly, with options and configurations that can be quickly built and delivered by Circuit City's partner manufacturers. This is accomplished through a real-time query of the Informix database that is automatically triggered by the customer as he or she browses at a Computer Build-To-Order Station kiosk.

"The speed and reliability of Informix Dynamic Server has given us the means to deploy a build-to-order system so that we can continue to compete and win against other computer retailers and direct vendors," said Dennis Bowman, senior vice president and CIO at Circuit City's Richmond, Va. headquarters.

"The Computer Build-To-Order Station provides our customers with the ability to individually configure their computer system from four leading computer brands using side-by-side comparisons with prices that meet or beat our direct competitors -- all in real time. Once a selection is made, the customer is given a firm delivery date that is based on up-to-the-minute inventory and production data."

"Informix delivers the foundation from which Circuit City can leverage their corporate assets while enhancing their customers' in-store experience," stated Nadjya Ghausi, director of retail industry marketing and e-commerce. "As an extension of the Circuit City selling model, the Computer Build-To-Order Station system improves customer service and reduces the supply chain cycle, while providing a high level of reliability."

The Computer Build-To-Order Stations are connected to Windows NT servers that are online with a central Informix Dynamic Server. The Informix database contains information about every possible permutation of computer product options that a customer can specify, and is set up for simultaneous query by all 518 Circuit City Superstores.

The database is currently updated daily with information from the computer manufacturers' inventory systems to ensure customers are presented only with product options that can be built and delivered at that time. In times of product changeover, database updates can be made on a continuous basis throughout the day.

A unique Informix feature called procedure call expressions has been instrumental in reducing response times and accelerating application development of the Computer Build-To-Order Station. Bowman thinks the system is ready for prime time. "Although we did not conduct any advertising until recently, we have been nonetheless very encouraged by the strong response of our customers and store personnel to the Computer Build-To-Order Station."

About Circuit City

Circuit City Stores, Inc. (NYSE:CC) is the nation's largest retailer of brand-name consumer electronics and major appliances, and a leading retailer of personal computers and music software. With headquarters in Richmond, Va., Circuit City operates 518 Superstores, four consumer electronics-only stores and 50 mall-based Circuit City Express stores.

For more information, access the Circuit City web site at

About Informix

Informix Corp., based in Menlo Park, provides innovative database products that assist the world's major corporations attain competitive advantage. Informix is widely recognized as the technology leader for corporate computing environments ranging from small workgroups to very large parallel processing applications.

Informix's database server, application development tools, superior customer service, and strong partnerships enable the company to be at the forefront of major information technology solution areas including data warehousing, high performance OLTP, and Web/content management. For more information, contact the sales office nearest you or visit our Web site at

Copyright 1998, Business Wire

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