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INFORMATION AND RETAIL INDUSTRIES MUST PARTNER FOR THE FUTURE: BRENNAN

 CHICAGO, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/-- The retail industry relies on the promise of the information age, Bernard F. Brennan, Montgomery Ward chairman and chief executive officer told an assembly of 1,000 information systems leaders from the retail industry.
 "We've been among the first to respond to that promise because we've recognized the value of information and have worked to make use of it," he said. "Now we face a new challenge. We have a good deal of information, but are we using it as strategically as we could?"
 Brennan, who is slated to become chairman of the National Retail Federation in January, spoke to the NRF's RisCON '93 Conference and Expo at McCormick Place.
 Brennan called on the information industry to partner with the retail industry in three ways:
 -- Develop systems that help the retail industry navigate through and utilize information.
 -- Develop integrated, relationship-based databases that enable the transformation of data into knowledge.
 -- Develop open systems which facilitate the use of multiple hardware and software products from multiple vendors.
 Brennan cited the important work of the National Retail Federation's A.R.T. Committee which is defining standards for information systems for the retail industry.
 "Everything we do today is part of a larger system," said Brennan. "We need to understand every step in the cycle of service. The retailer who develops and executes a `seamless process' in the merchandise continuum will be the successful company of the future."
 Brennan also described the landscape in which retail operates today and the importance of information systems in helping retailers manage. Among the conditions he cited were:
 -- The demand for more specialization by discerning consumers,
 -- The continuing fragile state of the economy, particularly some regional economies such as California,
 -- Rapidly changing demographics requiring that retailers significantly tailor merchandise offers and services,
 -- Growth of non-store retailing.
 Montgomery Ward, with 1992 revenues of $5.8 billion, operates more than 360 value driven specialty stores in 39 states as well as direct marketing operations serving more than 4 million customers.
 -0- 10/11/93
 /CONTACT: Sarina A. Butler, director of corporate communications for Montgomery Ward, 312-467-2025/


CO: Montgomery Ward ST: Illinois IN: REA SU:

TM -- NY057 -- 0843 10/11/93 18:37 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 11, 1993
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