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NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION SELECTS MCI TO PROVIDE COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES TO RETAILERS

 NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION SELECTS MCI TO
 PROVIDE COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES TO RETAILERS
 NEW YORK, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Retail Federation (NRF), the nation's largest retail trade association, has reached an agreement with MCI Communications Corporation to provide voice communications capabilities at volume discount rates to its retailer members. The new service, marketed under the trade name Specnet, was conceived to enable retailers to reduce communications costs and to spur information technology developments that fit the needs of the retailing industry.
 Under the four-year marketing agreement with MCI, the National Retail Federation will offer Specnet members a full range of MCI voice communications services at attractive discounts based on volume and term agreements of the participating retailers. National Retail Federation members with more than one retail store qualify to join Specnet. According to Specnet member Marc Lilien, vice president, Barnes & Noble, "Over the course of four years, Barnes & Noble expects to save six figures as a participant in the Specnet program."
 Added Jack Schultz, NRF president, "This historic agreement with MCI is an important first step in leveraging the purchasing power of the Specnet consortium to reduce communications costs and to develop common technology solutions for members. By banding together and sharing communications solutions, retailers can eliminate many of the obstacles that make individual solutions unobtainable due to the high costs."
 "MCI's long-term experience in the retail industry provides us with a keen understanding of Specnet member's demands for convenient, fast and effective communication among its stores, vendors and headquarter locations," said Jonathan Crane, MCI Eastern Division president.
 Some of the MCI services to be offered to Specnet members under the agreement include MCI Vnet, Vision and MCI 800 Service.
 Through the Specnet consortium, NRF will be evaluating opportunities for greater discounts and product innovations in the areas of data and voice communications; check and credit transaction processing; customer service; and store and communications equipment leasing or purchasing. The National Retail Federation represents an industry that encompasses over 1 million U.S. retail establishments, employs nearly 20 million people and registers 1990 sales in excess of $1.8 trillion.
 For further information regarding Specnet contact: Richard Faul, Vice President-Information Services, National Retail Federation, 100 West 31st St., New York, N.Y., 10001; 212/244-8780.
 Specnet is a consortium of 34 retail chains with over 10,000 retail locations doing over $10 billion in sales. Members include:
 Bally of Switzerland Merry-Go-Round Enterprises
 Barnie's Coffee & Tea Co. Milton D. Myer Company
 Britches of Georgetowne The Musicland Group
 Barnes & Noble NHD Stores
 Brookstone Company, Inc. Oshman's Sporting Goods Inc.
 C & R Clothiers, Inc. Paul Harris Stores Inc.
 Charming Shoppes Petrie Stores Corp.
 County Seat Stores, Inc. Richman Gordman
 Craig's S & K Famous Brands, Inc.
 Crate & Barrell Spencer Gifts
 DAR Group Investments Sterling Optical
 Foot Action, Inc. Stride Rite
 Gantos, Inc. The Summit Corporation
 The Gap Trader Joe's
 General Nutrition Corp. The U.S. Shoe Corp.
 Lamps Plus, Inc. Walden Books
 Lechters, Inc. West Marine Products
 -0- 12/11/91
 /CONTACT: Cathy Callegari of the National Retail Federation, 914-723-8633/
 (MCIC) CO: National Retail Federation; MCI Communications Corporation ST: New York IN: REA TLS SU:


CK -- NY006 -- 1306 12/11/91 08:30 EST
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Date:Dec 11, 1991
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