10/23/01

WWRE Progress Exceeds Members` Expectations

Kurt Peters , Executive Editor

For more information:

Larisa Myles Spillman
Edelman Public Relations Worldwide
312/297-7440
larisa.spillman@edelman.com

Laura Battle
Edelman Public Relations Worldwide
312/233-1374
laura.battle@edelman.com

Membership transactions top $1billion in the last six months

ALEXANDRIA, VA (October 23, 2001) - The Worldwide Retail Exchange (WWRE), the premier business-to-business exchange for retailers and suppliers, announced today that it has outperformed management projections for the first three quarters of this year. In the past nine months the Exchange has provided more than a 100 percent return on investment to its membership, formally opened its membership to manufacturers and suppliers, launched 2/3 of its key product lines (including its VICS-CPFR®* solution) and added several new members from across the globe.

"Since its inception, the WWRE`s goal has been to provide solutions that enable the retail and retail supply industry to realize measurable value in the supply chain," said Colin Dyer, chief executive officer for the WWRE. "Our progress to date shows that we`re delivering significant and quantifiable results to our members` bottom line."

Gerard van Breen, senior vice president for Ahold stated, "As a founding member of the WWRE, Ahold is pleased with the Exchange`s performance. The Exchange has delivered the B2B e-tools and solutions proposed just a year ago, realizing significant savings and enhancing supply chain efficiency for members." He continued, "In addition, the WWRE is helping to bring retailers and suppliers together to discuss and drive common international standards and resolve B2B issues facing the industry."

"As a member of the Exchange, it has been possible to quickly get a real return tool - we have more than covered our costs and have been greatly encouraged by the levels of support that we have been given," said Randy Allen, executive vice president of strategic initiatives at Kmart.

"A direct result of topping $1 billion in transactions through the Exchange has been member savings of more than $180 million, with 80% of the activity occurring during the past six months. Several members realized a complete return on their initial investment several times over," explained Peter Jueptner, chief commercial officer for the WWRE. "By the end of the year, 80% of our members will be actively using one or more of our on-line tools, including negotiations, eProcurement, demand aggregation, order execution and RFx - with more product releases scheduled to follow in 2002. All of which clearly demonstrates the potential of business-to-business exchanges for the retail industry."

Since March 2001, the WWRE has been conducting pilots of its CPFR® solution and launched the largest ever controlled launch in June. Twelve active trading relationships between eleven retailers and nine suppliers resulted in pilot participants` collaboration on the trading of 480 items over 45 distribution centers throughout Asia, Europe and the U.S. A wide variety of products, including direct and indirect goods, were in the pilot such as hygiene products, foods and beverages, electronics, over the counter drugs and apparel.

New Members Add Strength to Global Membership Base Within the past two months, the WWRE welcomed three new retail members from the United States, Latin America and the Asia Pacific:

* Lotte Group (Q. LOT) signed on as the Exchange`s first founding member since the WWRE began its second phase of member recruitment. The sixth largest conglomerate in South Korea, Lotte`s company`s units include 7-Eleven, Lotte Department Stores, Hotel Lotte, Lotte Confectionary, fast food chain Lotteria, and Lotte Chilsung, South Korea`s largest beverage maker.

* Controladora Comercial Mexicana (NYSE: MCM), Mexico`s second-largest retailer is the first Mexican retailer to join the WWRE. Through it subsidiaries, Comercial Mexicana (CCM) owns and operates over 160 stores and 40 restaurants throughout Mexico.
* Wakefern, the largest supermarket cooperative in the U.S., provides grocery, frozen, perishables and general merchandise products to approximately 200 ShopRite supermarkets in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania

"The significant progress we`ve made on the Exchange is attracting new members, which not only increases the scope of our global membership base but also demonstrates that we are meeting the needs of the industry," said Jueptner. "As we continue to welcome new suppliers and retailers to our ranks, we will ensure that we have the breadth of business options and the wealth of experienced professionals available to them."

Wakefern, Comercial Mexicana and Lotte are the newest members to join the WWRE during the Exchange`s second phase of member recruitment. Markant, a German-based services organization, and Hy-Vee, one of the 15 largest supermarket companies in the U.S., both joined the Exchange in July. The WWRE also recently welcomed its first supplier member, SCA Hygiene Products, one of Europe`s leading manufacturers of hygiene products.

"Consortia e-marketplaces in retail have been aggressive in building customer and supplier membership from within the industry," said Gale Daikoku, senior industry analyst for GartnerG2. "Some e-marketplaces have launched services without as much fanfare as others, and in the end it`s about delivering results that counts. As the furor over e-marketplaces has waned, the focus has become clearer -- improving supply chain efficiency for companies."

International Network to Support Global Growth

The WWRE has appointed members Groupe Casino and Ahold, in addition to a consultant in Hong Kong to broaden the Exchange`s membership support in Latin America and Asia Pacific respectively

Groupe Casino`s minority equity holding group Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao (CBD) and Ahold`s operating units Disco, Santa Isabel, Bompreco and La Fragua will coordinate efforts across Latin America and serve as the official WWRE representatives. All will be charged with commercial development for the WWRE, including support in marketing and public relations efforts.

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About Ahold

Ahold currently operates approximately 9,000 supermarkets, hypermarkets and other store formats in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia with annualized sales approaching Euro 70 billion. The company has a significant presence in the foodservice sector and is developing a range of other products, including financial services and internet-based home delivery. Ahold employs approximately 420,000 people in 25 countries. Ahold`s website can be found at www.ahold.com. Ahold is active in eight countries in Latin America, with almost 550 stores. In Brazil, Ahold is the owner of Bompreço, the leading food retailer in the northeast of the country, with 108 supermarkets and hypermarkets. In Argentina, Ahold is joint-owner of 235 Disco supermarkets. In Chile, Peru and Paraguay, Ahold is also co-owner of 96 Santa Isabel supermarkets. In Central America, Ahold has formed a partnership with La Fragua with 130 stores in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

About Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao

Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao (NYSE: CBD; BOVESPA: PCAR4) is the biggest retail company in Brazil, according to Associação Brasileira de Supermercados - Abras. Its gross revenues amounted to R$9.1 billion in 2000 ($3.2 Billion US). As of June 2001, CBD operated 415 stores in 11 Brazilian states, under 5 different formats. The companies five divisions are: Pão de Açúcar neighborhood supermarkets, Extra hypermarkets, Barateiro discount stores, Eletro electronics and home appliance chains and Amélia e-commerce. For more information, visit the website at www.grupopaodeacucar.com.br.

About Controladora Comercial Mexicana

Controladora Comercial Mexicana (NYSE: MCM) is a leader in the retail industry in Mexico. The company`s YR2000 sales exceeded 31,600,000 thousand Pesos ($3.4 billion US) with the approximately 80 CCM`s food and general merchandise stores accounting for more than 50% of overall sales. The company specializes in retail sales through various self-service store formats and restaurants, seeking to meet customers` needs and preferences. Controladora Comercial Mexicana`s six retail formats are: Comercial Mexicana self service stores, Bodega CM discount warehouses, Mega hypermarkets, Sumesa supermarkets with high-quality food products, CostCo Mexico membership warehouses and Restaurants California family restaurants. For more information, visit the website at www.comerci.com.mx.

About Lotte Group

Lotte Group (Q.LOT) is a leading international enterprise firm dedicated to contributing to the development of humanity by maximizing its use of manpower, information power, R&D; and investments. The company`s YR2000 sales exceeded 12,800 billion Won ($9.9 billion US). Lotte Group`s presence in eight countries is represented by 31 subsidiary companies in the retail, food and beverage, distribution and services, construction and chemical and culture and welfare industries. Headquartered in Seoul, Lotte Group is the sixth largest conglomerate in South Korea. For more information, visit the website at www.lotte.co.kr.

About Wakefern

Wakefern Food is owned by more than 40 independent grocers that operate approximately 200 ShopRite supermarkets in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. In addition to name brand and private-label products (ShopRite, Chef`s Express, Reddington Farms), Wakefern supports its members with advertising, merchandising, insurance and other services. The company employs more than 5,000 and generates annual sales in excess of $5.8 million (Euro 6.7 billion). For more information, visit the website at www.shoprite.com .

About the WWRE

The WWRE is the premier Internet-based business-to-business exchange in the retail e-marketplace. The Exchange was created with the fundamental purpose of reducing costs and improving efficiencies throughout the supply chain, employing product and service solutions typical of a global procurement and supply operation. Designed to facilitate and simplify trading between retailers, suppliers, partners and distributors, the WWRE currently consists of 59 retail industry leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America with combined sales of over U.S. $845 billion. To date, the WWRE has saved its members over $180 million through the use of online negotiations, its first product offering. For more information, visit the website at www.wwre.org or www.worldwideretailexchange.org.

WWRE Members:
AEON Co., Ltd (Japan, TSE: 8267)
Ahold (The Netherlands, NYSE: AHO)
Albertson`s (U.S., NYSE: ABS)
Auchan (France)
Best Buy (U.S., NYSE: BBY)
The Boots Company (U.K., LSE: BOOT.L)
C&A; Europe (Belgium)
Casino (France, Parisbourse: 12558)
Controladora Comercial Mexicana S.A. de C.V. GDS (Mexico, NYSE: MCM)
Coop Italia (Italy)
Coop Schweiz (Switzerland)
Cora (France, PSE: 06176)
CVS/pharmacy (U.S., NYSE: CVS)
Dairy Farm International (Hong Kong, SES: DAIR.SI/Reuters, DAIRYNEW SP/Bloomberg)
Dansk Supermarked (Denmark)
Delhaize Group (Belgium, BSE: DEL)
Dixons Group plc (U.K., LSE: DXNS)
Edeka (Germany)
El Corte Ingles (Spain)
Galeries Lafayette (France, Parisborse: 12124)
Gap Inc. (U.S., NYSE: GPS)
Giant Eagle (U.S.)
H.E. Butt Grocery Company (U.S.)
Hy-Vee (U.S)
J.C. Penney (U.S., NYSE: JCP)
John Lewis (U.K., JLH)
Kesko (Finland, HEX: KES)
Kingfisher (U.K., LSE: KGF)
Kmart Corporation (U.S., NYSE: KM)
Laurus (The Netherlands)
Longs Drugs (U.S., NYSE: LDG)
Lotte Group (South Korea, Q.LOT)
Makro Asia (Bangkok)
MARKANT (Germany)
Marks & Spencer (U.K., LSE: MKS)
Meijer, Inc. (U.S.)
Otto Versand (Germany)
Publix Super Markets (U.S.)
RadioShack Corporation (U.S., NYSE: RSH)
REWE (Germany)
Rite Aid Corporation (U.S., NYSE, PSE: RAD)
SCA Hygiene Products (Sweden)
Safeway Inc. (U.S., NYSE: SWY)
Safeway plc (U.K., LSE: SFW.L)
Schlecker (Germany)
Seibu Department Stores Ltd. (Japan)
ShopKo Stores, Inc. (U.S., NYSE: SKO)
Sobeys Inc. (Canada, TSE: SBY)
SUPERVALU INC. (U.S., NYSE: SVU)
Target Corporation (U.S., NYSE: TGT)
Tengelmann Group (Germany)
Tesco (U.K., LSE: TSC.OL)
Toys R Us (U.S., NYSE: TOY)
Wakefern Food Co. (U.S.)
Walgreen Co. (U.S., NYSE: WAG)
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. (U.S.)
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. (U.S., NYSE: WIN)
Wooltru Ltd. (South Africa, JSE: WLO)
Woolworths (Australia, ASX: WOW)

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*A registered trademark of the Voluntary Interindustry Standards Association



Topics:

Ahold, ICA AB, marketing, New York Stock Exchange, Tesco

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