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  5. United Co-operatives, one of the largest retail co-operatives in Europe, has signed a contract worth £4.2 million with Fujitsu Services for the rollout of a retail software solution across its entire food retail estate of over 500 stores and 1,500 Point of Sale (PoS) systems.

United Co-operatives selects Fujitsu to assist in achieving growth plans

United Co-operatives, one of the largest retail co-operatives in Europe, has signed a contract worth £4.2 million with Fujitsu Services for the rollout of a retail software solution across its entire food retail estate of over 500 stores and 1,500 Point of Sale (PoS) systems.

July 04, 2006

Ian Dyson, head of IT for United Co-operatives, comments: “The legacy PoS systems had worked well for a number of years, but change was needed to handle the aggressive business growth and the new customer initiatives that were helping to drive these advances.

We needed to ensure that our PoS systems were going to aid our plans to drive the business forward, rather than being a potential limitation to us.

“We had a series of new initiatives, for example promotions and customer specific offers that were not easily handled by the existing systems. We reviewed our options and found that the Fujitsu solution was the best match for our needs. Fujitsu offered an integrated solution that covered all of our key business requirements.

In addition, we had a relationship from many years of working together, and they had a good understanding of the Society’s business. Following the successful completion of the pilot and the feedback received, rollout has now started with a target completion of 2008. We have already realised a number of benefits from the new system, including an improvement in customer service and tighter financial control.”

With a turnover of over £2.1bn, the Society offers a wide range of services, which include food stores, travel, pharmacies, funeral directors, motor dealerships and other subsidiaries.

Its Food Group is currently enjoying outstanding success having recently announced its latest annual results showing sales growth of an impressive 14%, and like-for-like growth in the convenience store sector of 3.2%, almost double the industry average of 1.7% (as calculated by the Institute of Grocery Distribution).

Tim Hurrell, general manager of United Co-operatives Food Group, comments: “United provides excellent proof that, with the right strategy and approach, co-operatives can be a major force in the food business.

“We are seeing strong organic growth and this, combined with an aggressive and highly successful acquisition policy, has delivered double digit sales increases.

United plans to buy a considerable number of new stores in 2006 and the final figure could be very high if an outstanding opportunity comes along.” Bill Waterson, UK head of retail, Fujitsu Services, comments: “United Co-op is a successful organisation, which is experiencing strong growth and is well placed to continue this trend over the coming years.

We will support the company with its ambitious plans, by providing a system that will help it meet its targets, in terms of improved customer service and enhanced financial accountability.”

The contract includes the implementation of GlobalStore, with Fujitsu TeamPoS terminals for standard checkout lanes.

GlobalStore is a complete retail software solution for retailers, which significantly enhances operational performance from the PoS, through cash management to the back office.

There will also be a collapsed server environment for smaller store formats, making it extremely cost efficient. In addition, the system incorporates touch screen operator displays, LCD customer displays, Chip and PIN compliance, electronic shelf-edge labelling and self-scanning.

About Fujitsu Services

Fujitsu Services is one of the leading IT services companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa . It has an annual turnover of £1.74 billion, (€2.58 billion) employs 14,500 people and operates in over 20 countries. It designs, builds and operates IT systems and services for customers in the financial services, telecom, retail, utilities and government markets. Its core strength is the delivery of IT infrastructure management and outsourcing across desktop, networking and data centre environments, together with a full range of related services, from consulting through integration and deployment. Headquartered in London , Fujitsu Services is the European-centred IT services arm of the Fujitsu Group. The Fujitsu Group is a US$45 billion (€37 billion) leader in customer-focused IT systems and services for the global marketplace.

About United Co-operatives

United Co-operatives is the largest independent co-operative society in the UK, with a main trading area stretching from the south Midlands to southern Scotland and also taking in Northern Ireland. Based at Rochdale, the Society employs 16,000 staff.

Graham Goulden

Phone: Phone: + 44 (0) 1753 604736
Fax: + 44 (0) 1753 604669
E-mail: E-mail: graham.goulden@uk.fujitsu.com
Company:Fujitsu Services

Janette Shingler

Phone: Phone: + 44 (0) 1706 202022
E-mail: E-mail: Janette_S@coop.co.uk
Company:United Co-operatives

Nikki Cope / Sarah Townsend

Phone: Phone: + 44 (0) 1425 472330
E-mail: E-mail: nikki@mckennatownsendpr.com
Company:McKenna Townsend PR

Date: 04 July, 2006