March 02, 2006 17:43 ET

Arcadia Group Ltd Awards IBM Five-Year e-Commerce Contract

Solution to Form Backbone of Arcadia's Multi Channel Retailing Strategy

LONDON -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 2, 2006 -- Arcadia Group Ltd has awarded IBM a five-year contract to implement the first phase of an innovative e-commerce infrastructure covering the retail group's seven trading brands -- Top Shop, Top Man, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Burton, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins.

As part of a strategic move by Arcadia to pursue a multi channel retailing strategy, IBM and its premier business partner, Salmon, will develop a consumer website replacement for the retail group, to be hosted and supported by IBM Global Services.

According to Gareth Hill, IS Director, Arcadia: "We decided to upgrade our e-commerce platform to keep pace with the evolution of online trading and accommodate predicted sales growth. IBM will help us move away from our existing infrastructure to a more robust, highly scalable service, which will integrate easily with our back end fulfillment process. At the same time, the new solution will improve the web experience for our customers in terms of look, feel and functionality."

The new deal seamlessly ties into IBM's existing strategic outsourcing contract with Arcadia, which covers hardware, store support services and retail innovation across the 2300 store estate.

Arcadia's new solution spans IBM's technology portfolio from IBM eServer xSeries and pSeries hardware, IBM WebSphere Commerce and WebSphere Business Integrator software, backed up by IGS service offerings from eBHS, AMS and Strategic Outsourcing.

"Consumers are increasingly comfortable with technology and are more informed and discerning than ever before. Consumers are demanding choice and convenience, and they expect retailers to provide a seamless shopping experience whether it is on-line or in the store. Anticipating this sea change in buyer behaviour, leading retailers like Arcadia are leveraging new technologies across their entire enterprise to increase customer service, build loyalty and streamline their operations across the entire value chain," said Helen Cook, IBM Director Retail Business, UK.

About IBM:

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. Drawing on resources from across IBM and key Business Partners, IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. For more information about IBM, visit

About Arcadia:

Arcadia Group Ltd is the UK's largest independent clothing retailer with more than 2,000 outlets in high streets and shopping centres throughout the country. Arcadia Group Ltd covers seven brands in the UK and has a growing number of international stores.

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