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IBM Cloud Helps Leading Retailers Quickly Adapt To Changing Consumer Trends

NEW YORK, Jan. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  National Retail Federation Convention:  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that leading retailers Wakefern and El Corte Ingles have adopted IBM Smarter Commerce on cloud to quickly respond to changing consumer trends, compete more effectively in local markets and extend their brand into new regions.  The news comes at this year's National Retail Federation convention (#NRF14), where IBM also unveiled a new solution that helps retailers and marketers update their online storefronts in minutes with fresh, relevant and targeted content.

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According to a survey released yesterday by the IBM Institute for Business Value, retailers face growing expectations from consumers that want to use technology in all aspects of their shopping experience – from online to mobile to in-store.  Based on input from more than 30,000 respondents, the IBM study found that shoppers place the highest value on receiving consistent prices, product availability and shipping options regardless of which channel they use to buy.

"Mobile traffic and sales grew more than 40 percent in the past quarter, which tells us shoppers are using their devices in new ways to enhance and extend both the online and in-store experience," said Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM Industry Solutions.  "With this new generation of consumers combining mobile, social and cloud technologies to stay connected and informed, retailers must be able to quickly analyze, understand and act on each new trend before the moment passes them by."

El Corte Ingles Selects IBM Cloud to Expand Into New Markets

Well known in its home country, El Corte Ingles (ECI) is the largest operator of department stores in Spain with 84 locations across the country. While the company enjoys an established and loyal customer base for its physical stores, it wanted to expand its online presence across Europe to reach a new generation of digital consumers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands and beyond.

ECI turned to IBM Smarter Commerce on Cloud to quickly extend its online presence while addressing the distinct customer needs of each market. By deploying IBM Smarter Commerce through a hybrid cloud and on premise solution, ECI can deliver customized in-country offers, promotions and pricing optimization in real-time. The solution manages their customer orders across the entire region while supporting the many translation, payment and regulatory requirements unique to each country.

"We've been cultivating our historic brand in Spain for over 70 years, but when it came time to extend into Europe, time was of the essence," said Alvaro Fernandez, Internacional Internet & e-commerce, El Corte Ingles. "By deploying IBM Smarter Commerce and cloud technologies, we quickly ramped up our online presence in these new markets while delivering personalized shopping experiences that resonate and evolve with local consumers."

Wakefern Taps IBM for Dynamic Retail Solution

Leading grocers like Wakefern Food Corp. – one of the largest U.S. retail cooperatives and operator of more than 300 stores under the ShopRite, PriceRite and The Fresh Grocer brands – are also leveraging IBM's cloud analytics to build sophisticated, real-time analytics to help its store owners make better business decisions on a regional basis.

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