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Virgin Retail has selected Eqos, the supplier management experts, to help it become more competitive and generate substantial business benefits by implementing collaborative solutions that encompass the complete life-cycle of the product – from the initial contract process through to its promotion and sale. From August 2005, the new processes will be rolled out in close liaison with Virgin’s key suppliers.

The nature of the entertainment business is such that many of the deals with record companies are non-standard and based on informal agreements around complex retrospective discounts. This has proved costly to manage, both in financial terms and man-hours. With the Eqos Deal Management solution Virgin will be able to ensure all product and marketing deals are fully documented for both parties so that everyone is working from the same information, and to facilitate invoice matching and tracking.

In addition, Eqos will be enriching the Virgin product database so that every piece of information about an item – from sleeve notes and artwork to promotional activity – is stored in a central data warehouse and can be retrieved extremely quickly.

“The new Product Information Management (PIM) solution, which drives the information for the data warehouse, means we can better utilise our store analytics data to tailor-make ranges by individual outlet, or in clusters, rather than at chain level and thereby better plan, target and execute our campaigns,” says Dennis Henderson, Executive Director, Strategy of Virgin Retail. “This means every store will be able to have the best possible mix of product and promotions to match its customer base and we can gain a real competitive edge.

“As the Eqos solution also allows us to share real-time information with suppliers about every aspect of a product and its promotion, we both have more control and knowledge about what is happening and can take the appropriate action if there is any deviation from plan.”

According to Mike Quinn, CEO, Eqos, “Virgin is typical of a growing number of retailers who are now looking to solutions to improve the management of their suppliers and products to increase margins. Virgin is not only leveraging our core retail expertise by implementing our best-in-class applications but has also invested in the Eqos development platform so that it can develop further collaborative capability.”

Eqos is working on the design and implementation of the Virgin solution with Kurt Salmon Associates (KSA), the global management consulting and technology firm specialising in the retail and consumer goods industries.

According to Simon Kennedy, senior manager at KSA, the speed of installation was one of the key attractions of the Eqos platform. “Retailers are looking for an extremely quick ROI on new technology as well as flexible systems with longevity.”

Eqos’ supplier management solutions are used by blue chip customers worldwide, including UK retailers Debenhams, Focus DIY, Sainsbury’s and Wickes and US electronics giant Best Buy.

Notes to Editors


Eqos Ltd

Eqos delivers flexible, proven solutions for Supplier Management over the Internet. Eqos helps its customers achieve rapid return on investment from modular, integrated solutions built with change in mind, to significantly advance supply chain effectiveness. Founded in 1997, Eqos is headquartered in the UK. Eqos' Collaborator Web platform is recommended worldwide as a Microsoft preferred platform for collaborative working. More information can be found at www.eqos.com.


Virgin Retail

Virgin Retail operates the Virgin Megastores banner. Over a million people visit a Virgin Megastore somewhere in the world every day, Virgin Megastores remains at the forefront of popular culture with the broadest range of music, movies and games in the world. The first Virgin record store opened in London’s Oxford Street in 1971 and in 1979 the company took over the site at the end of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road. As well as a high profile retail estate in the UK, including the landmark Number One Piccadilly Store, London, Virgin have stores in the USA, France, Australia, Greece, Japan, Kuwait and Lebanon.

Anne Lomax
Associate Director
Linda Laderman PR
5 Portland Place
London W1B 1PW
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7436 6676
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7580 0555
annel@ladermanpr.co.uk
www.ladermanpr.co.uk





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