Introduction: Letter from Geoff Thomas

Microsoft is proud to sponsor

Some of these leaders have launched entirely new ways for consumers to shop, using the Web to respond to customer demands for convenience. Others have tapped into consumers’ unabashed joy at discovering a bargain, delivering high-end merchandise at down-to-earth prices. Still others have honed in on the latest trends—whether to eat locally grown food, be entertained during the buying process or better serve the environment.

Just as the innovators profiled on these pages work so diligently to stay ahead of their customers’ needs, so too does Microsoft. We’ve grown our leadership team with executives who’ve earned their stripes at leading retail chains. Our real-world understanding of the unique challenges that Chain Store Age’s influential leaders face every day makes us all the more impressed with their accomplishments—and all the more committed to helping them support customer-centric operations.

Our technology solutions and development expertise are designed to empower a retail organization’s biggest assets—people—from the corporate office to the point of sale. It’s our goal to help retailers deliver an outstanding customer experience and then make that experience standard across every channel. How? Through real-time, advanced analytics that help the entire retail organization stay in synch with consumer demand. Through integration, communication and collaboration that optimizes supply chain processes for faster time to market. And through easy-to-use store management and operations tools that enable your associates to be more productive, service-driven and informed.

Congratulations to the retail executives profiled on these pages! You inspire us all.

Best regards,

Geoff Thomas, General Manager, U.S. Retail & Hospitality, Microsoft Corp.