ICL Introduces New InteractiveRetailing Initiative
11:11 a.m. Jan 18, 1999 Eastern

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 18, 1999--ICL's Retail Systems Division announced today that it has launched a new InteractiveRetailing(TM) initiative, in conjunction with Microsoft Corp., aimed at giving retailers a way to provide "anywhere shopping" to consumers.

The announcement was made at the National Retail Federation's 88th Annual Conference and Expo in New York with the debut of an online refrigerator at ICL's booth (No. 801). The refrigerator, co-developed by Frigidaire, demonstrated at-home shopping using a touch-screen, flat-panel PC monitor mounted on the refrigerator door.

The initiative, which is already being piloted by two yet-unnamed U.S. retailers, gives consumers multiple points of access to retailers using a variety of point-of-sale and Internet technologies, ranging from in-store, Web-based kiosks to prototyped home appliances such as the online refrigerator. ICL's InteractiveRetailing is a group of solutions tailored to retailers' needs and expectations for meeting the needs and wants of consumers. The technologies are available today, said Sion Roberts, ICL's director of InteractiveRetailing.

"The technologies are in hand and available immediately," said Roberts. "InteractiveRetailing advances retailers' need for complete, integrated, front to back solutions that incorporate point of sale, back office, fulfillment, consumer loyalty, customer segmentation and Web technologies. ICL is leveraging its strength in these areas using InteractiveRetailing, GlobalSTORE(TM) and Corema(TM)."

According to Roberts, retailers are gaining interest in how to better serve their customers by giving them what they want when they want it. That often means extending the shopping experience to the consumer's workplace or home. A recent independent survey revealed that almost 50 percent of Americans are current Internet users and that 37 percent polled would be interested in a weekly food shopping service that delivers to the home or workplace.

"There's every indication that consumers are ready to embrace electronic retailing," said Roberts. "We are poised to help every retailer determine the best methods and technologies to successfully engage their customers and to implement services profitably. InteractiveRetailing incorporates solutions from order capture all the way through to product picking and delivery support systems."

One large retailer who requested anonymity, said InteractiveRetailing has been able to reduce costs. "When we first began an e-commerce site a couple of years ago, we quickly discovered that it was costing us money to have an electronic presence," said one retail executive. "Then we began working with ICL's InteractiveRetailing team, which helped us create a system that makes electronic retailing more profitable. Now, when we receive an electronic order, our employees can quickly select the goods ordered and deliver to the customer at their chosen location in a much more efficient manner. We've cut costs by almost 50 percent."

Roberts said the initiative was recently created to effectively assimilate within the overall technology infrastructure for retailers. "Integrated into our InteractiveRetailing approach is seamless interface and interaction with other retail-specific technologies, from point-of-sale to back office and consumer loyalty initiatives," he said. "InteractiveRetailing couples with ICL's GlobalSTORE and Corema, and hundreds of devices, such as POS terminals, handheld devices, kiosks, PCs and televisions. We're offering turnkey, front-to-back solutions that maximize IT investment and reduce Total Cost of Ownership."

About ICL

ICL is a leading supplier of IT systems and services. Operating in over 70 countries and employing over 19,000 people, the company's revenues for 1997 were more than $4 billion, generating a pre-tax profit of approximately $54 million. The company implements IT systems for major projects and provides innovative services to a range of industries covering among others, retail, finance, travel, telecommunications and utilities together with education, local and central government sectors. Its services include outsourcing, helpdesks, network services, inter/intranets, electronic commerce, interactive kiosks, smart card systems, digital cities and Web sites.

About ICL's Retail Systems Division

ICL's Retail Systems Division is based in Dallas, employs 2,000 people worldwide and has annual revenues of approximately $800 million. It is dedicated to serving the retail industry through the creation of effective IT solutions and services. It is one of the world's largest suppliers of information systems and solutions to retailers with such offerings as GlobalSTORE(TM) (scalable, open retail systems), InteractiveRetailing(TM) ("anywhere shopping" applications and Web-based technologies for retailers) and Corema(TM) (customer-focused marketing efforts such as loyalty programs and customer segmentation).

For More Information: Contact Roy Miller at 214/521-8596, or via e-mail at [email protected]. More information is also available at http://www.iclretail.com.

Copyright 1999, Business Wire