Two new international retailers today announced they have joined the WorldWide Retail Exchange, the web-based, business-to-business marketplace founded last month by 12 international retailers, including CVS/pharmacy.

The new participants are the Delhaize Group, the Belgian food retailer with interests in the United States and 10 other countries, over 2,000 stores and 1999 sales of Euro 14.3 billion, and J.C. Penney Company, Inc., the largest catalog operation in the U.S., with over 4,000 department stores and Eckerd drugstores and 1999 sales of $32.5 billion. The two retailers are to become founding members as well, and will participate in the initial 60% of the founding capital of the Exchange.

Their participation swells the number of founding members of the WorldWide Retail Exchange to 14. In alphabetical order: Albertson’s (USA), Auchan (France), Casino (France), CVS (USA), Delhaize (Belgium), J.C. Penney (USA), Kingfisher (UK), K-Mart (USA), Marks & Spencer (UK), Royal Ahold (The Netherlands), Safeway, Inc. (USA), Target (USA), Tesco (UK) and Walgreens (USA). Jointly, the group operates approximately 40,000 stores with 1999 combined sales of more than $365 billion.

“We are delighted to welcome three retailers of the caliber of Delhaize and J.C. Penney to the WorldWide Retail Exchange,” said a spokesman for the Exchange. “A strong Exchange is in the interests of all members. We believe it will soon become the standard for e-commerce transactions, with costs for all parties, including suppliers, decreasing dramatically.”

The 14 member companies of the WorldWide Retail Exchange – and others to be announced in the future – will make use of the Exchange to conduct the full range of food, non-food and drugstore e-commerce transactions with individual vendors, independent of one another. Each retail company will use the Exchange for the procurement of merchandise, supplies, equipment, infrastructure and other business-related goods and services from participating suppliers. The vendor community has responded enthusiastically to negotiating transactions with individual retailers through the Exchange.

CVS/pharmacy is the nation’s largest retail provider of prescriptions. The Company is the number one drugstore chain in the U.S. with approximately 4,100 stores in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Midwest regions of the country. General information about CVS, including corporate background and press releases, is available at CVS’s web site at www.cvs.com.