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City Furniture Pioneers Affordable, Accessible Interior Design With IBM


Multi-Channel Retail Solution Is the First of Its Kind in the Home Furnishings Industry

TAMARAC, FL - 10 Apr 2006: Home furnishings retailer City Furniture has picked IBM to provide services and technology for its new “Academy of Design,” which will allow customers to select interior design plans online or in the store.

IBM’s Center for e-business Innovation in Atlanta helped City Furniture develop the custom business model and innovative applications for its interior design services for shoppers. IBM is providing services and technology for design kiosks in City Furniture stores throughout South Florida, as well as a Web site that will allow customers to add and view details about their design plans and budgets from the Internet.

“Our technology investment and work with IBM allows us to make great interior design affordable and accessible to our shoppers,” said Keith Koenig, City Furniture president. “This multi-channel retail solution is the first of its kind in the home furnishings industry.”

A custom-built IBM kiosk system is the centerpiece of the in-store Academy of Design center. The kiosk will match customers to local designers, based upon budget, style and color preferences, and timeframe requirements. City Furniture also selected IBM to design and build an interactive new Web site ( By visiting the Academy of Design in local stores or online, consumers can buy three levels of interior design services -- ranging from $295 to $695 -- to receive a complete design package including in-home consultations, design plans, furniture and accessory selection and placement, a design budget and shopping assistance.

The program also provides City Furniture designers with ThinkPad notebook computers loaded with materials and a customized application to take on house calls. The IBM-designed laptop application allows designers to share floor plans, color palettes, design plans, design budgets, and design and construction suppliers with customers.

City Furniture introduced Academy of Design as a pilot program in a 150-square-foot space inside its Wellington, Fla., store in December 2005. City Furniture expects to roll out the program to 21 stores in 2006.

The custom application runs on IBM xSeries servers and uses IBM WebSphere Application Server, DB2 and DB2 Everyplace software. The application was designed and built using IBM Rational Rose XDE Developer for J2EE and IBM Rational Application Developer.

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