Retail supply chain exchanges GlobalNetXchange and the WorldWide Retail Exchange today (Monday) announced that they have agreed to merge.

The two companies will combine their technology solutions into a single platform that connects retailers, manufacturers, and their business trading partners to more efficiently and effectively share information and manage work processes, they said. The new company will leverage the greater scale economies to reduce unit costs and drive adoption of industry standards, and will operate the definitive forum for retail best practices sharing.

Under the agreement, which has been approved by the executive boards of both companies, the combined entity will operate under a separate name, to be determined. Christopher Sellers, the current CEO of WWRE, will serve as the executive chairman, while Joe Laughlin, current CEO of GNX, will serve as CEO of the new company.

The combined entity is backed by the world’s largest retailers and suppliers, including: AEON, Ahold, Albertsons, Auchan, Best Buy, Carrefour, Casino, Coles Myer, CVS, Delhaize, El Corte Ingles, Federated, KarstadtQuelle, Kingfisher, Kroger, Lotte, Metro, PPR Group, Safeway, Sainsbury’s, SCA Hygiene, Sears, Tesco and Walgreens. With more than 8,000 retailer and manufacturer users to date between GNX and WWRE, the new company will bring together a critical mass of the world’s largest retailers on a single platform. The resulting trading partner overlap is expected to accelerate adoption of best practices in trading partner collaboration and relationship management for the entire retail industry.

“Since GNX and the WWRE were founded more than five years ago, the industry has sought a partnership between the two organizations to create a definitive exchange and voice for the retail industry,” said Christopher Sellers. “We share the same vision, have some overlapping solutions whose cost will decrease after consolidation, and where our solutions do not overlap we are perfectly complementary and aligned.”

“The industry will benefit as we drive de-facto standards that will be adopted,” he said. “We will utilize secure networks and the latest proven technology in order to reduce costs of goods and cost to serve, and ultimately for consumers to reap the benefits of improved product availability and pricing.”

“One of the characteristics both GNX and the WWRE share is their close, value-adding community,” said GNX CEO Joe Laughlin. “The new company will build on this, as we intend to leverage the strengthened community to create a unique and definitive global retail forum for sharing best practices and addressing industry issues and opportunities. 45 of the largest global retailers and suppliers are involved in this combined entity, creating an incredibly strong force for pushing forward key retail industry objectives.”