Payless ShoeSource to Outsource its Web Infrastructure and Online Storefront to Accenture

NEW YORK; May 6, 2004 – Accenture today announced an agreement to help Payless ShoeSource design and launch a new customer-facing retail Web site and transition its Internet infrastructure to a Microsoft platform.

Under the agreement, Accenture will design, build and manage the retailer’s new Web site, including taking over responsibility for hosting the site and providing applications management support. To develop the site, Accenture will use its Interactive Retail Services, a reusable technology asset built on parts of Microsoft’s Windows Server System to provide retailers and branded manufacturers with hosted Internet services.

The new Microsoft architecture allows Payless to more easily make changes to their online storefront, ultimately enhancing their ability to respond to trends and more quickly and easily update price and product information. The new architecture’s flexibility will also improve the retailer’s back-end reporting and customer relationship management capabilities. Payless will maintain control over its brand, merchandising, product assortment, pricing and promotions, fulfillment and customer service.

Through the agreement Payless hopes to increase online channel sales by 15-20 percent annually and significantly improve the conversion rate for people visiting the site.

“Multi-channel retailers today control 67 percent of online retailing, and we believe that in the future, online sales will grow at a significantly greater rate than traditional channels, representing 5 percent of total U.S. retail sales within the next few years,” said Jeff Smith, global managing partner, Accenture Retail and Consumer Goods practice. “By outsourcing, Payless can better ensure stable technology and operating infrastructure while freeing up resources to concentrate on improving multi-channel marketing and customer relationship initiatives."

Moreover, a recent Accenture survey with 107 retail executives found that a majority credit outsourcing with increasing their control over capabilities such as: planning, reliability of information, delivery of business outcomes, increased revenue, and improved variability of costs.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills, and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With approximately 90,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$11.8 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2003. Its home page is


Caitlin Storhaug

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