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Three More Top 100 Retailers Sign with FurnishNet for Electronic Transaction Exchange

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FurnishNet, a leading provider of Internet-based supply chain solutions, announced today that Top 100 home furnishings retailers Levitz Home Furnishings Inc. (LHFI - the holding company for Levitz Furniture and Seaman'sFurniture), Steinhafels, and Wickes Furniture have contracted to implement FurnishNet's electronic transaction exchange services to improve their businesses. This increases the number of Top 100 retailers contracted with FurnishNet to 28. FurnishNet will connect Levitz with approximately 160 manufacturers with whom Levitz does business to reduce paperwork, manual data entry, errors, faxes, and phone calls while accelerating order processing to shorten order cycles and delivery. Levitz is already using FurnishNet's Parts Management solution, which has significantly streamlined that portion of their operation. Steinhafels, a third-generation, family-owned retailer with three stores in metro Milwaukee and one each in Madison and Kenosha, Wis., selected FurnishNet to connect 80 of their top suppliers via the FurnishNet transaction exchange service. According to Mark Steinhafel, Chief Operating Officer of Steinhafels, "By automating our processes with FurnishNet, we expect to significantly streamline our B2B transaction processing and gain a competitive edge through reduced paperwork, improved efficiencies, and faster order turnaround from our suppliers." Wickes Furniture will be connected to 57 of their top vendors, representing 80% of their business. They are currently issuing over 2,500 purchase orders a month and receiving approximately 3,500 acknowledgements, advance shop notices, and invoices. Wickes operates stores in Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., and Minneapolis, and plans to open four stores this year, two replacement showrooms in greater Chicago and two new stores in Southern California. "We chose FurnishNet to help us implement a strong B2B initiative that will greatly increase our operational efficiencies and support our aggressive growth plans to open two to four stores a year over the next several years," said Frank O'Conner, Vice President of Information Technology for Wickes. FurnishNet's Transaction Management service uses the Internet for exchanging over 300 transaction types including purchase orders, purchase order acknowledgements, advance ship notices, and invoices. Last month the company processed over 70,000 purchase orders through its exchange service-a new monthly record. For Q1 2005 the company experienced a 65% increase in purchase order volume over the same period last year. It is on track to process over one million purchases for calendar year 2005 and estimates that over 8% of home furnishings purchases are now processed through the FurnishNet electronic exchange service. The FurnishNet solution integrates e-mail, web applications, electronic data interchange (EDI), and XML into a unique "Any-to-Any" exchange. FurnishNet is able to translate data files into appropriate formats for the electronic flow of information between trading partners of any size, running on any corporate system. Because the FurnishNet service is able to transfer data without the use of a VAN, the need for expensive EDI mapping software as well as a traditional EDI VAN network are eliminated, thereby reducing expenses and simplifying connectivity. "It is now clear that electronic B2B transaction processing has come into the mainstream for the industry," according to Ron Sellers, Vice President of Sales for FurnishNet. "The adoption rate of this technology is accelerating at a rapid pace, as retailers and manufacturers of all sizes move to take advantage of the significant savings available in supply chain automation."

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