Liz Claiborne Inc. Embraces Microsoft’s Smarter Retailing Initiative, Announces Overhaul of In-Store Technologies

REDMOND, Wash., July 27, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Liz Claiborne Inc., designer and marketer of branded women’s and men’s apparel, accessories and fragrance products, is overhauling its in-store technologies by deploying solutions based on the Microsoft®
Smarter Retailing Initiative (SRI). Replacing systems as old as 12 years, the new solutions will enable Liz Claiborne to improve operational efficiencies, increase operations and sales visibility throughout stores, and free store management and personnel to focus on transforming the overall customer experience. The new solutions, built using the Microsoft platform and Windows Server System (TM) products, will be deployed across 335 stores in Liz Claiborne’s U.S.-based outlet and specialty stores operating under a variety of brands including Dana Buchman, Elisabeth, Ellen Tracy, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Liz Claiborne, Lucky Brand Jeans, Mexx USA and Sigrid Olsen.

Initially, Liz Claiborne will be overhauling the stores’ base technology infrastructure and replacing their outdated point of sale (POS) system. This includes installing more than 1,000 Fujitsu TeamPoS 2000 terminals running Microsoft Windows®
XP Professional and NSB Group’s Connected Retailer Store Solution. In addition, each store will be equipped with a dedicated SQL Server (TM) database running on Windows Server (TM) 2003 and a store manager workstation running Windows XP Professional and a variety of other store management and performance applications. Another key component of the new technology infrastructure allows store managers to access applications from the register, so they can spend more time out on the floor, assisting customers and gaining greater visibility into in-store activities such as customer flow and associate performance.

“Since this was a significant overhaul of information systems that we’ve had in place for 12 years, we really wanted to make sure that the new technologies we put in place met our strict criteria for reliability, serviceability and accessibility,” said John Kovac, vice president of information technology at Liz Claiborne. “We are confident that by choosing a platform based on Microsoft’s Smarter Retailing Initiative and supported by Microsoft’s strong partners in the retail industry, like NSB Group and Fujitsu, we will have systems in place to meet our current and future needs. Most of all, we will be able to free up our store managers and employees to focus on best meeting the needs of our customers.”

Inventory management is another area of Liz Claiborne’s business that will benefit from its in-store technology overhaul with significant reductions in time spent managing inventory. In the case of a new store opening, it could take store employees two days to log product data into the system manually after it had been received. The stores now will have Symbol Technologies Inc.’s handheld scanners running Microsoft Windows CE for inventory management. These scanners will automatically upload data into the inventory management system, significantly improving the receiving process.

“The Liz Claiborne deployment of solutions based on Microsoft’s Windows Server System is an excellent example of how technology innovations will change the rules of engagement with the customer and the customer’s in-store experience,” said Brian Scott, general manager for the Retail & Hospitality Industry Solutions Group at Microsoft. “In this case, store management and employees will be much more visible and available to interact with customers, rather than being tied up in the office doing paperwork and managing inventory. Microsoft platform solutions enable smarter, more-efficient operations, while enabling Liz Claiborne to channel time and personnel savings into Smarter Selling efforts.”

Microsoft Partner Support

Microsoft’s Smarter Retailing Initiative was announced in January 2004 with the support of more than 20 partners. The ecosystem of retail industry partners, which continues to grow, includes NSB Group and Fujitsu.

NSB Group’s Connected Retailer is a comprehensive portfolio of advanced solutions trusted by more than 250 of the world’s leading retailers for merchandising, store, planning, sourcing and product development, sales analytics and CRM. The Connected Retailer Store Solution, powered by Coalition, is a best-of-breed, Windows-based store automation system that includes POS, back office, and a complete configuration toolset that allows retailers such as Liz Claiborne to modify business rules — rapidly and on their own — in response to their changing business needs.

Fujitsu’s installation of its TeamPoS 2000 is supported by a full range of life-cycle services, including staging, integration and maintenance. The TeamPoS 2000 is a system that adapts easily for POS, customer kiosks, multimedia displays or management terminals. Its modular design enables the system to grow and change with the retailing environment, resulting in the elimination of costly system replacements, maintenance and upgrades. It supports an open Microsoft Windows-based environment and is designed to reduce retailers’ costs and improve manageability over the life cycle of technology assets.

About the Microsoft 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 .

About Microsoft

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

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