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John Lewis Boosts Distribution Centre Productivity

by 16% and Reduces Labour Costs by 8% with Warehouse and Workforce Management Systems from RedPrairie. John Lewis Leverages Exceptional Software Performance to Cut Process Cycles and Reduce Lead Times to Stores as Trading volumes grow

Stokenchurch, UK, May 2008 – RedPrairie, a leading consumer driven optimisation company, announces that UK top ten retailer John Lewis has bucked the trend in tough trading conditions by becoming one of the few retailers to enjoy growing sales. RedPrairie's Warehouse and Workforce Management have underpinned the rapid delivery times needed to meet customer expectations.

Sales for the first five weeks of 2008 increased by 2.1%, with Easter trading exceeding 2007 figures by 1.1%. “In a challenging retail environment we had a very successful 12 months, during which our share of the market store sector increased by 0.4% to 19.1%,” said Dino Rocos, managing director, distribution, at John Lewis. “We are confident that RedPrairie will support our future growth as we continue to out-perform the market.” John Lewis's department stores division saw increased December sales by 6.4% over 2006 figures.

Real-time operations visibility and streamlined processes enabled system output to reach an all-time high at John Lewis's Northampton distribution centre in the 11 days prior to Christmas 2007, the period when the retailer earns 40% of its income. Consignment verification and put-away time dropped from 28 hours to just three and a half while the voice-directed capabilities of Warehouse Management improved picking by 40%. In addition, average ship lead times were cut from 51 hours to 38, a reduction of 25%, which has helped increase sales by maximising stock availability at stores.

Workforce Management's holistic workforce optimisation capabilities have enabled John Lewis to automate time and attendance management, analyse workforce metrics and improve the efficiency of key processes. As a result, operator productivity at Northampton increased by 16% over the pre-Christmas period while labour costs shrank by 8%. “Workforce Management provides accurate, real-time workforce intelligence that helps us measure productivity and transform performance through agile, accountable operating practices,” said Dino Rocos. “Productivity is up 33%. We plan to leverage Workforce Management to continuously improve process efficiencies and generate accurate forecasts for future manpower requirements.”

RedPrairie's solution suite, first implemented in July 2006 in Northampton, will be live at all six John Lewis distribution centres by mid 2008. Following the initial implementation by RedPrairie's consultants, knowledge transfer has enabled the retailer to manage subsequent implementations without external assistance. The system's ease of management has cut overheads while allowing the company's IT experts to focus on strategic, value-added developments to support future growth. “We work closely with RedPrairie to incorporate our specific needs into their next-generation solutions as we continue to transform the efficiency of our warehouse operations,” said Simon Earle, supply chain operational systems manager at John Lewis.

“John Lewis's success is proof that Warehouse Management, in conjunction with a Workforce Management programme, can achieve significant performance improvements and cost savings for the largest, most successful retailers,” said RedPrairie International Managing Director and President, Martin Hiscox. “We are delighted that John Lewis has chosen RedPrairie as a strategic partner and are committed to helping them achieve rapid and sustainable efficiency savings as they extend their market leadership.”

The John Lewis Partnership – The John Lewis Partnership operates 26 department stores across the UK, John Lewis Direct – a website and catalogue business, 187 Waitrose supermarkets and Greenbee, a new direct services company. The business has an annual turnover of over £6bn.

John Lewis – John Lewis, 'Britain's favourite retailer 2007'* typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines. The website stocks more than 26,000 lines focused on the best of home and giftware and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. (www.johnlewis.com)

Waitrose – Waitrose, named 'Britain's favourite supermarket'* combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop. It offers fresh and frozen foods, wines and groceries as well as delicatessen, cheese, fresh fish, meat, patisserie and hot-food counters. Waitrose is dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced combined with high standards of customer service. (www.waitrose.com)

Greenbee.com – Greenbee.com offers a range of financial, travel and leisure services selected by the John Lewis Partnership. Specialist home and pet insurance, life cover and a phone and broadband package have recently been added to the home, travel and wedding and event insurance products. Other services include travel packages, tickets to the latest theatre shows, concerts, exhibitions and sporting events, and an online art and antiques directory.

*Verdict consumer satisfaction index, January 2008

RedPrairie is a world-leading consumer driven optimisation company. Built on an advanced Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) developed over the past 15 years, the RedPrairie integrated suite of end-to-end (E2e™) solutions offers on-demand capabilities to over 32,000 sites worldwide for many of the world's largest companies. With 21 global service sites and standard service methods that have been validated over the last 30 years, RedPrairie provides unparalleled service and support. For more information visit www.RedPrairie.com.

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