REDMOND, Wash., and SALISBURY, N.C., May 27, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. and Food Lion LLC today announced that many of the leading-edge retail solutions being deployed at its new concept store, Bloom, a Food Lion Market (TM) , are based on Microsoft®
technologies and are in line with the Microsoft Smarter Retailing Initiative (SRI), a comprehensive solutions framework for enabling the future of retailing. Food Lion’s Bloom stores are designed to provide customers with a simple, uncomplicated and hassle-free shopping experience. Some of the solutions chosen by Food Lion to enhance the customer shopping experience include multiple self-checkout options and product location and information kiosks. Highlights on the store operations side include a store manager workbench and other applications available on a Tablet PC and via a wireless, broadband network.
“Customers will quickly notice Bloom’s new approach to store design, layout and merchandising. Bloom also will test some of the proven leading-edge technologies in the retail industry,” said Robert Canipe, vice president of business strategy at Food Lion. “The objective behind the technologies is to enhance the shopping experience and help customers find products, get information and check out with greater ease. Microsoft shares our vision of creating a hassle-free customer experience.”
“Food Lion is one of the first supermarkets to broaden its vision by acknowledging that technology innovations will provide more than just operational efficiency, but can also be leveraged to enhance the overall customer experience,” said Brian Scott, general manager of the Retail & Hospitality Industry Solutions Group at Microsoft. “This type of store is what we had in mind when we introduced the Smarter Retailing Initiative back in January.”
Food Lion spent the past two years studying and researching what kinds of shopping experiences customers wanted. Its findings are in sync with Microsoft’s Smarter Retailing Initiative. Announced in January 2004, SRI provides an innovative approach for enabling retailers to take full advantage of their legacy investments to connect the retail enterprise to the store, to suppliers and to the consumer. SRI focuses on three key areas: Smarter Shopping, Smarter Selling and Smarter Operations.
The Bloom concept store will feature the following:
Store managers will be equipped with Tablet PCs running Microsoft Windows®
XP Tablet PC Edition, which will enable the managers to move wirelessly throughout the store — collecting information, tracking inventory and managing labor deployment. Aligned with Microsoft SRI’s Smarter Operations, this technology allows the manager to spend more time on the floor to improve customer service.
Each Bloom store will have two servers running the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system. One will be dedicated to the self-checkout system. The other will run various store management applications.
The availability of several self-checkout options aligns with Microsoft SRI’s Smarter Shopping and raises customer satisfaction by increasing the checkout speed.
Up to eight workstations will run Microsoft Windows 2000 throughout the store in places such as the back office, deli department and pharmacy department. These workstations will be used to help maximize the use of task-specific applications, training, personnel scanning, communications with the head office and vendors, and typical Microsoft Office System applications. These solutions will give Bloom a proven and reliable base for enabling Smarter Operations.
Each store will have two NCR kiosks running Microsoft Windows 2000. These kiosks will be used for product information (i.e., wine and meat and seafood recipe applications, “Shop-to-Cook” application) and as a product locator that will help customers locate and select products and enhance their buying experience. This also ties to SRI’s Smarter Selling.
The first Bloom store opened May 26 in Charlotte, N.C., with four more openings scheduled in the greater Charlotte area by the end of 2004.
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 Food Lion LLC
Food Lion LLC is a subsidiary of Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group (NYSE: DEG). Food Lion operates more than 1,200 stores, under the Food Lion, Bloom and Reid’s names. The company employs approximately 73,000 associates delivering quality products, low prices and service to customers in 11 Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
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