SOURCE: IBM

January 12, 2007 08:36 ET

Kroger Teams With IBM to Speed New Innovations Across Store Infrastructure

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 12, 2007 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today it has entered an agreement with The Kroger Co. to deploy new technology initiatives throughout Kroger's network of more than 2,470 supermarkets across the country. IBM's Store Integration Framework (SIF) will be implemented to improve the overall shopping experience of Kroger customers.

"Kroger is recognized in the grocery industry as an early adopter of technologies, which not only improve efficiency but are aimed at creating new services for their customers," said Steve Ladwig, General Manager, IBM Retail Store Solutions. "IBM's Store Integration Framework better enables Kroger to efficiently introduce new services to benefit their customers."

Ladwig said Kroger is known for its ability to successfully integrate new technology at the store level. For example, Kroger was one of the first supermarket chains to put self-checkout solutions in its stores, and was among the first to add fueling stations with pay-at-the-pump technology at store locations. The company has also expanded store formats that include grocery and multi-department stores, convenience stores and fine jewelry stores.

"With this initiative, we will be able to introduce innovative services quickly and seamlessly to improve our customers shopping experience," said Chris Hjelm, Kroger's Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. "We intend to significantly reduce development cycle times by using the open standards and techniques available through IBM's framework."

IBM's Store Integration Framework (SIF) provides a complete, flexible and robust retail-optimized infrastructure to enhance store-centered processes and connect them with the enterprise. Using IBM Store Integrator and IBM Data Integration Facility, Kroger will leverage its previous investment in IBM's SurePOS 700 point-of-sale (POS) solution and IBM SurePOS™ ACE for 4690 OS software. This network of 30,000+ POS systems is being proactively monitored using IBM's Tivoli Manager for Retail software.

About IBM

For more information on IBM's solutions for the retail industry, please visit www.ibm.com/retail.

About Kroger

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kroger is one of the nation's largest retail grocery chains. At the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2006, the Company operated (either directly or through its subsidiaries) 2,473 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banners including Kroger and Kroger Marketplace, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, King Soopers, Smith's and Smith's Marketplace, Fry's and Fry's Marketplace, Dillons, QFC and City Market. Kroger also operated (either directly or through subsidiaries, franchise agreements, or operating agreements) 774 convenience stores, 418 fine jewelry stores, 619 supermarket fuel centers and 42 food processing plants. For more information about Kroger, please visit www.kroger.com.

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