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Wednesday February 14

PartsAmerica.com Partners with Integrated Information Systems to Combine Internet Ordering and Local Store Pick-Up

LOS ANGELES and TEMPE, Ariz. -- PartsAmerica.com, a leader in the automotive parts aftermarket, and Integrated Information Systems Inc., a full service Internet solutions provider, have announced that consumers of auto parts and accessories can shop online at PartsAmerica.com and then physically pick up, return or exchange products at any of the 2,900 PartsAmerica.com suppliers including all CSK Auto and Advance Auto parts locations.

This distribution model provides distinct customer value far beyond the traditional shipping methods provided by most Internet retailers.

Launched in September 2000, the PartsAmerica.com site created by IIS enhances the Internet shopping experience with live customer service assistance, online mechanical diagnosis and real-time inventory updates on more than 1 million products representing $1.4 billion in auto parts and accessories.

PartsAmerica.com faced the challenge of joining forces with two independent retailers, Advance Auto Parts and CSK Auto, to leverage their brick and mortar assets in a manner that would provide traditional retail services online.

IIS approached this challenge by creating a supply chain integration system that permits customers to make a purchase over the Internet and physically "pick up" the order almost immediately in a nearby store from a PartsAmerica.com supplier. In the alternative, the customer can still opt for standard product shipping.

Presented with this option, it has been demonstrated that customers choose to visit a local store for picking up their Internet orders over 90 percent of the time and for returning or exchanging products 98 percent of the time.

"We were very impressed with the way that IIS handled the complexity of our e-business model," said John Morel, vice president of marketing at PartsAmerica.com. "These supply chain integration systems have resulted in improved customer relations and have ultimately increased PartsAmerica's bottom line."

Jim Garvey, IIS chairman, chief executive officer and president, said, "By tightly integrating two established brick and mortar retailers with significant inventory and fulfillment assets, combined with thousands of stores and multiple state-of-the-art distribution centers, PartsAmerica can recapture its existing investment in technology and nationwide facilities and, in turn, provide excellent service at a lower operating cost than any other competitor."

"Because of its partnerships with these two auto parts retailers, PartsAmerica.com is a good example of a multi-channel e-commerce model where a physical presence supports online activities," said Jeff Roster, senior analyst with Gartner Dataquest, a leading provider of market intelligence for the global information technology industry.

"Touch points such as online customer interaction and in-store pick up and returns are all key components of a successful Internet retailer's business in today's new economy."

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