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Advanced Visual Technology (AVT), a market leader in macro and micro space solutions, today announced it will provide the full-service convenience stores of Norwegian oil and gas company, Statoil, with the Retail FOCUS technology to streamline store layout, planning and design. AVT will deploy the technology across Statoil's 2,000 European retail sites in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Poland, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.

AVT's Retail FOCUS solution unites merchandising, store planning, construction, operation and inventory management into computer aided design (CAD)-based floor plans to produce a seamless flow of store-specific merchandising information and an accurate capture and analysis of fixture data, allocated space and adjacencies. For nearly ten years, leading global retail outlets have used Retail FOCUS to harness their databases and generate optimal return against trading space to benefit their bottom line.

A need to improve the in-store customer experience and remain competitive in Europe drove Statoil to launch a European center of excellence to better manage category and floor space planning while meeting customer needs.

"With so many stores across Europe," said Lars Windelin, Concept and European Space Manager, Statoil, "we wanted to streamline our business. With Retail FOCUS, we can perform detailed, fact-based analysis store by store in all countries to make the most efficient use of store space."

Statoil conducted a review of several solutions providers for its store planning needs.

"We evaluated AVT against the industry's top competitors in the global marketplace," Windelin said. "We selected AVT based on the company's proven experience and the functionality and scalability of its technology solutions for store planning. While it is possible to perform simple assessments of store design with several available solutions on the market, Retail FOCUS' AutoCAD feature makes it truly unique in that it enables a more detailed analysis of space utilization down to meters and centimeters. This is not available with other solutions. Retail FOCUS provided better functionality and fit for our requirements than any other solution we tested."

Retail FOCUS is the only solution available that can automate previously manual functions significantly reducing the store planning, re-fixturing and merchandising processes. Key features include dynamic 3-D store plans, linkage to EPoS and other retailer databases, embedded two-way communication with AutoCAD® drawings which eliminates re-drawing activities, automated floor plan maintenance and publishing, a native AutoCAD® fixture library for rapid store plan creation and accurate space tracking and wired and wireless modules for merchandising support.

In an increasingly demanding retail environment, retailers have realized that a fixture by fixture understanding of their store layout is the only way to maximize return on space. Retail FOCUS upgrades simple store plans to 3-D representations that allow more advanced analysis of data and opportunities from a visual and cost perspective at any level required.

"Many retailers are losing profit and productivity as well their own customers because, although they may not realize it, they struggle with a complete understanding of their store space and how to best tailor it to meet the needs of their clientele," said Victor Baneth, Chief Executive, AVT. "Our work with Statoil provides another valuable opportunity to support large scale store planning efforts on behalf of an international retailer. The expected resulting efficiency in cost and time savings as well as the improved in-store customer experience is the essence of Retail FOCUS."

About Advanced Visual Technology

Founded in 1997, AVT is a United Kingdom-based company that provides the retail industry with a unique visual space planning solution called Retail FOCUS. Retail FOCUS unites merchandising, store planning, construction, operation and inventory management into CAD-based floor plans to produce a seamless flow of store-specific merchandising information and an accurate capture and analysis of fixture data, allocated space and adjacencies. Efficient execution of merchandising initiatives, accurate, dynamic floor plans which trigger fact-based layout decision and a higher return per square foot are some of the benefits Retail FOCUS offers. With satisfied clients across the world, Retail FOCUS is a proven global success.

About Statoil

Statoil is an integrated oil and gas company with considerable international activities. Represented in 33 countries, it is engaged in exploration and production in 15 of these. The group's head office is in Stavanger, Norway. As of December 31, 2005, Statoil had 25,644 employees. Forty-nine percent work outside Norway. The group is operator for 24 oil and gas fields on the Norwegian continental shelf and accounts for 60 percent of all Norwegian petroleum production. As operator for 23 seabed facilities, Statoil is a leader in subsea production. The Statoil retail service station network includes about 2,000 sites, both company and dealer/franchisee operated, across the 3 Scandinavian countries, Poland, the Baltic states, Russia and Ireland. Statoil is the leading service station retailer in Scandinavia.

Statoil is one of the world's largest sellers of crude oil and a substantial supplier of natural gas to the European market. Statoil is one of the world's most environmentally-efficient producers and transporters of oil and gas. In 2005 the group's total revenues came to NOK 393 billion.


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