Microsoft, National Retail Federation Host National Seminar Series To Bring New Technology Solutions to Small and Medium-Sized Retailers

REDMOND, Wash. —
, April 16, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. and the National Retail Federation (NRF) today announced a nationwide seminar series to bring new technology solutions to small and medium-sized retailers around the country.

The 38-city 1996 Small Store Technology Tour will give retailers tools to assess their technology needs and to maximize their return on investments in store and back-end systems. They will learn about new retail systems and how these systems can give them a competitive advantage in their businesses. The tour will also provide insights into the Internet and how retailers can use it today to increase and enhance their businesses.

The series of daylong workshops will be presented by nationally known technology speaker Jim Dion, senior consultant of J.C. Williams Group.

“Retailing is all about connecting with customers, suppliers, manufacturers, sales staff and – in today’s environment – technology,”
Dion said.
“A cash register, a quick mind and a great business plan aren’t enough to guarantee your future anymore. To become a front-runner, you need to know how available technology can make your business stronger. That’s what the 1996 Small Store Technology Tour is all about.”

“Microsoft is committed to working with Microsoft® Solution Providers focused on the retail industry and to providing them with the technologies and tools to deliver outstanding solutions to small and midsized retailers,”
said Judy Dulcich, retail industry marketing manager at Microsoft.
“Microsoft Windows® and Windows NT® Server have become the operating systems of choice in the retail industry. The technology seminar series will help small and medium-sized retailers take advantage of the tremendous business benefits that Windows-based solutions offer them.”

The technology series brings together the NRF, the world’s largest retail trade association, Microsoft, the worldwide leader in software for personal computers and Compaq Computer Corp., the world’s largest personal computer technology provider. Other sponsors are Epson America and Comshare. The seminar series is designed for store owners and operators, regional managers, corporate executives and nontechnical merchandising executives.

The seminars will cover the retail uses of electronic data interchange (EDI), point-of-sale systems, database management, back-end software, desktop publishing, relational databases, inventory management, time management and scheduling, e-mail and Internet solutions.

Seminar attendees will be briefed on software designed by winners of the 1996 Microsoft Retail Application Developer (RAD) Awards. The RAD Awards will be announced June 10 at the Dallas Convention Center at the Retail Systems 96 show. RAD Awards go to developers who best use Microsoft technology to provide tangible business benefits to small and medium-sized retailers. Winning solutions will be evaluated on the following criteria: their ability to reduce costs and increase sales, to integrate with other applications and legacy systems, and to be easy to adopt and maintain.

The seminars will also feature a Solutions Fair with exhibits, booths and demonstrations by additional Microsoft Solution Providers offering technology solutions and services for the retail industry.

Seminar leader Jim Dion has extensive background in retail selling, training, marketing, buying, operations and administration. He consults with retail organizations throughout the United States and Canada. Dion is a Microsoft developer and recognized computer expert, having designed and installed hundreds of retail systems.

The Small Store Technology Tour will be held at these locations:

June 25, Philadelphia;

June 26, Pittsburgh;

June 27, Washington,D.C.;

July 2, Baltimore;

July 9, San Jose, Calif.;

July 10, San Francisco;

July 11, Riverside, Calif.;

July 16, Orange County, Calif.;

July 17, Los Angeles;

July 18, San Diego;

July 30, Seattle;

July 31, Denver;

Aug. 1, Phoenix;

Aug. 3, Chicago (Merchandizing Mart);

Aug. 5,Boston;

Aug. 6, Fairfield, Conn.;

Aug. 7, Newark, N.J.;

Aug. 8, Bergen County, N.J.;

Aug. 13, Charlotte, N.C.;

Aug. 14, Greensboro, N.C.;

Aug. 15, Miami;

Aug. 20, Tampa, Fla.;

Aug. 21, Orlando, Fla.;

Aug. 26, San Antonio;

Aug. 27, Dallas;

Aug. 28, Salt Lake City;

Sept. 9, Kansas City, Mo.;

Sept. 10, St. Louis, Mo.;

Sept.11, Detroit;

Sept. 12, Indianapolis;

Sept. 24, Atlanta;

Sept.17, Milwaukee;

Sept. 18, Cleveland;

Sept. 19, Columbus, Ohio;

Sept. 25, Cincinnati;

Sept. 26, Minneapolis;

Sept. 28, Chicago (RISCON);

and Oct. 8, Houston.

Retailers interested in seminar registration information should contact the National Retail Federation, Small Store Technology Tour at (202) 783-7971 or (fax) (202) 783-0581, or write to the NRF at 325 Seventh St. N.W., Ste. 1000, Washington, D.C. 20004.

Additional information on Microsoft solutions for the retail industry is available on the Microsoft Web site at

The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association, with membership that includes the leading department, specialty, discount, mass-merchandise and independent stores as well as 32 national and 50 state associations. NRF members represent an industry that encompasses more than 1.4 million U.S. retail establishments, employs more than
20 million people, one in five American workers, and registered 1995 sales of $2.3 trillion. NRF’s international members operate stores in more than 50 nations.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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