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Web site boost raises Tower Records' sales



Bill Goodwin

Retailer Tower Records revealed this week that it has quadrupled its sales of online CDs after introducing technology to...



Bill Goodwin

Retailer Tower Records revealed this week that it has quadrupled its sales of online CDs after introducing technology to increase the speed of its Web site.

The group spent $150,000 (£94,000) linking its Windows NT Web servers to its in-store Informix databases, which keep records of stock held in high-street stores.

The move has increased the speed of the site by a third and will provide shoppers with continually updated details of all new and second-hand records in stock.

The company has used software developed by US supplier Merant to transfer data from the Informix databases, which run on two IBM F-50s database servers, to the retailer's Web pagers, powered by eight Compaq Proliant servers.

The system will eventually allow customers to check whether CDs are available in any Tower Record's branch or to check what is in stock in their local store.

"We can't afford for a customer to leave our Web site for a competitor's site because of performance reliability," said Kevin Ertell, spokesman at Tower Records.

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