News Release

Virgin Entertainment and Hannaford Bros. Co. Increase Store-level Productivity and Communications with Cisco's Intelligent Retail Network

NEW YORK, NY (National Retail Federation 2006) January 17,
Jan 17, 2006

NEW YORK, NY (National Retail Federation 2006) January 17, 2006 - Cisco Systems®, Inc. today announced that Virgin Entertainment Group, the world's leading multi-channel music and entertainment retailer, and Hannaford Bros. Co., with 147 supermarkets in the Northeast, have selected the Cisco Intelligent Retail Network to simplify store operations and create a more responsive organization, all while providing customers with an enhanced retail experience.

Virgin Entertainment Rocks with Cisco IP Telephony

Virgin Entertainment Group operates 18 Virgin Megastores in the United States that provide thousands of customers with experiential, interactive shopping through in-store appearances by major entertainment artists, a wide variety of music and DVD media and games, highly available store personnel and cutting-edge shopping technologies. To help achieve this goal of offering the ultimate customer experience, Virgin Megastores was eager to improve its in-store Virgin Vault Kiosk listening stations by providing customer access to its vast library of music. At the same time, the company wanted to upgrade its phone systems within its stores to reduce voice communications costs while increasing features and manageability. Additionally, Virgin Entertainment Group wanted a way to achieve better universal visibility into the status of each store's technologies. To do so meant the company needed to rethink its technology foundation.

Virgin Entertainment Group selected SBC's Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) network together with Cisco's converged data, voice and Application and Content Networking System (ACNS) software. The combination provided greater reliability, redundancy and disaster recovery and better monitoring and administration of kiosk-critical issues such as bandwidth. On this Cisco MPLS network, Virgin Magastores have deployed over 200 new Virgin Vault Kiosks that leverage Cisco's content-caching technology to provide shoppers samples of more than 250,000 CDs, 11,000 DVDs and 7,000 games over the Internet.

"Virgin Megastores are committed to using advanced technology to remain highly competitive. We chose the Cisco Intelligent Retail Network to enable us to offer our customers a wider and more dynamic range of services while giving us the tools to better manage our high-bandwidth applications," said Robert Fort, Director of Information Technology for Virgin Entertainment Group, North America. "Statistics say that each Virgin Vault Kiosk is estimated to help sell about one-and-a-half to two extra CDs a day. We have more than 200 of these kiosks, so that is a significant lift in sales."

With the Cisco Collaborative Communications solution, Virgin Megastore employees now have easy access to employee directories, advanced voicemail capabilities and other time-saving applications in addition to all of the features expected from a business phone. Conservative estimates show that Virgin Entertainment Group will save $700,000 per year by using IP-based voice technology. For the future, Virgin Entertainment Group is poised to implement solutions that will enable stores to broadcast live music events and deliver in-house promotional broadcasts to the chain's other North American stores when celebrity artists make in-store appearances. The company is also exploring new customer loyalty programs that take advantage of interactive kiosks that have enjoyed positive feedback from customers.

Fresh IP Telephony Ingredients Increase Hannaford Bros. Co. Productivity

Hannaford Bros. Co. has provided high-quality food and drug products to the public for more than 120 years with 147 supermarkets in the Northeast. Hannaford's network was already based on an end-to-end Cisco Intelligent Retail Network, designed on the principles of Cisco's Service-Oriented Network Architecture (SONA) to accelerate applications, business processes and profitability for enterprises. This system laid the groundwork for the advanced phone service applications Hannaford required.

To achieve greater flexibility in its phone system, significant cost savings and improved employee productivity, Hannaford deployed up to 32 Cisco IP Phones in each store as part of the Cisco Collaborative Communications Solution. By standardizing on Cisco, Hannaford was able to consolidate from 6 different analog-based key systems, lower phone maintenance costs and reduce training expenses for store associates. The new telephony system will also serve as a foundation for delivering applications and features such as time clocking and attendance, computer-assisted ordering, inventory access and out-of-stocks notification, personnel and operations and product lookup.

"Hannaford is a leading-edge, customer-oriented enterprise. We were looking for a solution that strongly reflected this to our employees and customers," said Ed Taggart, Manager, Network and Communications, Hannaford Bros. Co. "Our existing Cisco infrastructure was poised to assume the new Cisco IP Telephony augmentation, and the benefits to this implementation have been substantial. Cisco phone solutions give us both the power and the ability to make each phone handset a mission-critical information touch-point."

"Cisco is delighted to work with Virgin Entertainment and Hannaford Bros. Co. to deploy converged, centrally managed and secure Intelligent Retail Networks that can meet their needs today and in the future," said Ed Jimenez, Cisco's Worldwide Retail Industry and RFID Solution Manager. "Cisco is committed to delivering solutions to retailers that improve customer satisfaction by enhancing the shopping experience, boosting employee productivity and increasing revenue by enabling real-time, business decisions."

The Cisco Intelligent Retail Network solutions suite comprises Cisco foundation technologies, including routing and switching, and Cisco advanced technologies such as wireless, telephony and security product features. The solutions are specifically designed by Cisco to help the retail industry meet business-critical objectives and maximize the effectiveness of the network for increased productivity and an enhanced customer shopping experience.

For more information about the Cisco Intelligent Retail Network, go to

About Hannaford Bros. Co.

Hannaford Bros. Co., based in Scarborough, Maine, operates 147 supermarkets and food and drug combination stores in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Massachusetts. These stores operate under the Hannaford Supermarket and Hannaford Supermarket and Pharmacy names. Hannaford employs more than 24,000 associates. The company is owned by Delhaize Group of Brussels, Belgium.

About Virgin Entertainment Group

Virgin Entertainment Group is the world's premiere music and entertainment retailer, providing customers with a range of superior entertainment experiences through a family of integrated Virgin-branded businesses. The "category killer" Virgin Megastores and Virgin Megastore Online at are integral parts of a strategy to provide entertainment customers with what they want, how they want it, and when they want it. features a vast selection of music, video, DVDs, software, video games and books now available for online purchase. For more information, or to check out the location of the nearest Virgin retail, go to