Kurt Peters

Sporting goods retailer says cost savings and distributed capabilities among advantages

SEATTLE, Feb. 3, 2003 – AccessVia®, the leading provider of automated sign printing solutions and electronic display technologies for retailers, today announced that Sport Chalet, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPCH) has chosen Web dSignShop® to deliver sign printing capabilities in its chain of 31 specialty sporting goods stores in California and Nevada. Sport Chalet CEO Craig Levra said that the deployment will mark “a critical transition in the way we deliver merchandising resources to our stores.” He continued, “It’s a solution that will both simplify our operations and diversify our options when it comes to communicating with customers.”

In the past, headquarters staff at Sport Chalet manually composed signs using corporate data sources, and then mailed or shipped signs to individual stores. With Web dSignShop, store associates will simply use the corporate intranet to instantly access batches of centrally designed signs or compose their own signs in the store using easy, predesigned templates. The headquarters team will maintain control of sign layouts and real-time item data to ensure design consistency and sign accuracy among all the stores.

Technology and visual merchandising executives at Sport Chalet say the move to an automated, Web-based solution will offer a variety of advantages, including immediate sign distribution capabilities, production and delivery cost savings, and superior signage results without the integration and infrastructure investments required with traditional client/server systems.

“We’ve known that we need to gain efficiencies in our signing process. But in the past, the alternatives have been clumsy, not to mention expensive,“ said April Pratt, Sign Shop Supervisor at Sport Chalet. “A Web solution changes that. The Web dSignShop model is easy and fast-the stores don’t have to install software or host massive data files. They already have PCs and printers, so it takes very little in terms of effort and expenditure to get everyone up and running. And at headquarters, we finally have a way to leverage our item data and design assets for immediate effect,” she said.

CEO Levra said that the pairing of corporate data and attractive sign design will support Sport Chalet’s commitment to customer satisfaction. “excellent customer service is one of the ways we compete with the larger chains-we offer expertise and a real depth of knowledge. The Web dSignShop solution is an extension of that ethic. We’ll be able to create signs that feature important item information, valuable details, service offers, and more. So this isn’t just a technology decision; it’s a strategic way to enhance the overall customers shopping experience.”

AccessVia CEO Dean A. Sleeper said, “Like many successful mid-size retailers, Sport Chalet is at an important point in their trajectory. To stay competitive, they need to distribute resources to their stores affordably, but they can’t lock into technology that lacks the sophistication and flexibility for growth. With Web dSignShop, they can deliver sign printing for just pennies and still accommodate unlimited enterprise development.”

AccessVia Web dSignShop was recognized in both 2002 and 2003 as a Microsoft® Retail Application Developer (RAD) Award winner. The Microsoft RAD Award highlights the most innovative Microsoft-based software solutions for the retail and supply chain industries.

The AccessVia Print solution includes both Web dSignShop and dSIGN to provide clients with accurate and attractive signs, shelf-edge labels, fact tags, coupons, and more. Web dSignShop is designed for retailers who want to use the Internet, an intranet, or an extranet to publish signs using a Web browser without installing or maintaining in-store software. dSIGN is built for classic client/server implementations and offers advanced product data delivery and unmatched integration with legacy systems. AccessVia also offers a solution for automated electronic displays, such as customer-facing POS displays, self-service terminals, and applications on kiosks such as price verify, assisted shopping, endless aisle, and gift registry.

AccessVia customers include Bed Bath & Beyond, Kroger, LCBO, Petco, Safeway, Staples, SUPERVALU,Target and Walgreens.

About Sport Chalet
Sport Chalet, founded in 1959 by Norbert Olberz, is a leading operator of full-service specialty sporting goods superstores in California and Southern Nevada. Throughout its 31 locations, the company offers services for the serious sports enthusiast, including backpacking, canyoneering, and kayaking instruction, custom golf club fitting and repair, ski rental and repair, SCUBA training and certification, SCUBA charters, team sales, racquet stringing, and bicycle tune up and repair. For more information, visit www.sportchalet.com.

About AccessVia
With AccessVia solutions, the nation`s leading retailers transform the information in their product databases and use it in creative ways to communicate with their customers. AccessVia technologies enable automated consumer messaging, allowing retailers to reach buyers in stores, at kiosks, on the Web, by e-mail, via wireless devices-wherever they are. AccessVia systems are built on a flexible architecture that allows retailers to extract data with precision, automate its presentation, and then communicate it artfully to a variety of purchase environments. Fortune 500 companies at over 25,000 stores reach their customers daily with AccessVia solutions. For more information, visit www.AccessVia.com.


Big-box store, business, Commerce, Sport Chalet, Target Corporation