A&P Joins Smarter Retailers: Launches Portal Infrastructure Using Microsoft Technology for Improved Communications, Collaboration Across All Stores

SAN FRANCISCO, March 1, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that A & P has rolled out the next phase of its communication and collaboration system based on Microsoft®
technology throughout its more than 600 stores in North America. The system, initially launched in 2002, is called GAPcom Store Portal. It enables A & P to provide consistent communications across all stores and respond more quickly to changing business conditions. GAPcom also serves as an infrastructure that enables A & P to seamlessly introduce new capabilities and services as market opportunities and business needs dictate. Microsoft made its announcement at FMI MARKETECHNICS 2004, an annual show for the retail industry presented by the Food Marketing Institute.

The GAPcom Store Portal takes advantage of Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint (TM) Portal Server and Microsoft Active Directory®
to provide A & P with the ability to electronically publish and instantly update merchandising bulletins, pricing, store signage, operations manuals, and other store updates and applications that previously were disseminated on paper. GAPcom also opens the path for two-way communication and collaboration between headquarters and the stores, enabling faster responsiveness to customer demands and other business opportunities.

“The GAPcom Store Portal is a solid example of what Microsoft’s Smarter Retailing Initiative is all about,” said Brian Scott, general manager for the Retail & Hospitality Industry Solutions Group at Microsoft. “It addresses today’s needs by enabling A & P to be more agile and responsive in this extremely competitive marketplace, and it can easily integrate into a comprehensive solutions framework that will enable A & P to take advantage of newer technologies down the road.”

“This solution allows us to improve communication and collaboration across store operations, merchandising groups and other support areas within A & P with a user interface that is familiar and easy to use for most employees,” said John Metzger, chief information officer at A & P. “Plus, from an IT development and support standpoint, many of the capabilities we wanted were already available in the Microsoft products we used to build the solution. By eliminating the need for custom coding, A & P was able to get the system up and running at more than 600 stores in a very short period of time.”

GAPcom Store Portal was deployed in August 2002. Users interact with GAPcom through in-store network computers over a secure internal network hosted on servers located at A & P’s headquarters in Montvale, N.J. Due to the flexible infrastructure and integrated Microsoft technologies, A & P was able to host GAPcom at its headquarters without installing additional servers. In addition, A & P will make continuous enhancements to the system working with its internal IT team and Microsoft Consulting Services.

Microsoft Exchange Server is a reliable, easy-to-manage platform for messaging and collaboration that brings people and knowledge together. SharePoint Portal Server is a flexible portal offering that enables information workers to quickly and easily find, share and publish information. Active Directory is a directory that serves as the repository of all user information and supports more flexible and secure administration of the communications and collaboration infrastructure.

A & P is one of the nation’s first supermarket chains and today is among North America’s largest. It operates 645 stores in 10 states, the District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada, under trade names that include A & P, Waldbaum’s, Food Emporium, Super Foodmart, Super Fresh, Farmer Jack, Sav-A-Center, Dominion, The Barn Markets, Food Basics, and Ultra Food & Drug.

About Microsoft’s Smarter Retailing Initiative

The Microsoft Smarter Retailing Initiative helps retailers win today by leveraging current investments, and win tomorrow by easing delivery of new retail experiences. Consisting of Smarter Shopping, Smarter Selling and Smarter Operations, the Smarter Retailing Initiative is designed to close the loop between the retailer’s strategy, the in-store execution and familiar technologies already in the consumer’s hands. More information can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/smartretail/ .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.Microsoft, SharePoint and Active Directory are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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