WorldWide Retail exchange teams with alliance

The WorldWide Retail Exchange, a large consortium of retailers planning an electronic marketplace, announced yesterday that IBM, I2Technologies and Ariba will construct the technological infrastructure for the group.

IBM will provide system integration and host the exchange. Ariba's B2B Commerce platform and Dallas based-i2's TradeMatrix solutions will power the exchange.

Ariba will also contribute Ariba Marketplace, Ariba Dynamic Trade and Ariba Buyer Solutions to provide services ranging from logistics to financial services.

The IBM-Ariba-i2 alliance beat a team formed by Andersen Consulting Group, Microsoft and Commerce One for the prize partnership.

Worldwide Retail, one of the largest business-to-business marketplaces, connects companies, retailers and suppliers on the Web.

A competing marketplace, GlobalNetExchange, was formed in late February when Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Carrefour Group, an international retailer in France, teamed with Oracle Corp.

WorldWide Retail was announced in March, with founding members including grocery chains Albertson's, and Safeway.; drugstore chain CVS; and discount retailers Kmart, and Minneapolis based-Target.

International partners include French grocery retailers Auchan Group and Casino Guichard-Perrachon, and British pharmacy retailer Kingfisher PLC.

WorldWide Retail is expected to open for business later this summer.

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