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Best Buy Joins Online Exchange

Best Buy has become a founding member of the WorldWide Retail Exchange, a business-to-business marketplace created last month by 14 international retailers.

The electronics chain joins such retail heavyweights as Kmart, Target, J.C. Penney, CVS, Walgreens and Britain’s Marks & Spencer in the venture, which will allow members to conduct e-commerce transactions with a wide range of vendors.

“Use of the Exchange is expected to improve operational efficiencies in the supply chain benefiting our suppliers, our company and ultimately our consumers,” said Best Buy chief information officer Marc Gordon. “The open exchange provides an equal opportunity for all participants to benefit from the business process functionality and standardization of information offered within the Exchange.”

The founding members, who are providing the initial 60% of the Exchange’s startup capital, will use the service to build infrastructure and procure merchandise, supplies, equipment and other business-related goods and services from participating suppliers. Best Buy added that the concept will also reduce costs by providing the ability to make business decisions closer to the time of consumer demand.

The creation of the WorldWide Retail Exchange came weeks after Sears, French retailer Carrefour and Oracle announced plans to develop a comparable business-to-business buying exchange. Both online services said they would actively solicit additional retail and vendor partners.