Novelty Inc. Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                 Contact: Jeff LenardNovember 14, 2003                                                                                             (703) 518-4272[email protected]NAXML Helps Distributor Land AccountsALEXANDRIA, Va. – The NACS-developed eXtensible Mark-up Language (XML), known as NAXML does more than help increase efficiencies and eliminate paperwork – it has helped at least one distributor land accounts.Greenfield, Ind.-based Novelty, Inc., a non-foods distributor concentrating on the convenience store market segment, found that providing electronic invoices using NAXML was considered a “must” before it could do business with Valero Energy Corp.After working with several different packages, the companies began test transmissions in October. As a result of the effort, Novelty, Inc., which services nearly 11,000 stores in 35 states, is now the sole supplier for Valero.NAXML allows retailers to virtually eliminate the blizzard of paperwork that that they receive from vendors, as well as significantly reduce administrative costs and input errors in entering information from invoices. It also allows suppliers to clear invoices much faster. The Georgia and Texas Lotteries, ExxonMobil, Shell Oil Products U.S., Coca- Cola Enterprises, and The Pepsi Bottling Group are just a few industry suppliers that also have recently implemented NAXML transactions for convenience store retailers.NAXML is an open and non-proprietary language that convenience store retailers and suppliers can use to address the problem of loose system-to-system integration and data exchange. It lowers some of the barriers that traditional electronic data interchange has, making it particularly attractive for small- and medium-sized companies.Novelty, Inc.’s Information Technology Manager Tom Farrington said that Valero approached the company two months ago to together develop a system to send invoices electronically. To make the electronic invoicing possible, they set up a system that works within the framework of NAXML.“Anyone can use NAXML – it is human readable,” said Farrington, noting that its simplicity is a major advantage for users.In addition, Farrington said that at last month’s NACS Show he learned about Rutter’s Farm Stores’ success with NAXML transmissions and has since worked with them to develop a similar electronic invoicing system.These latest NAXML transmission advances the work done since 1995 by members involved in NACS’ Technology Standards Project to help companies automate their systems through several different enabling technologies and communications channels. In September, it was announced that the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) was founded to continue the development, maintenance and

implementation of standards work initiated under the NACS Technology Standards Project.“The benefits of NAXML to retailers, distributors and consumers is phenomenal. It creates good economics throughout the industry. The potential cost savings are amazing,” said PCATS Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer John Hervey.Complete information on PCATS, including a membership application, can be accessed at National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) is an international trade association representing 2,000 retail and 1,700 supplier members. The U.S. convenience store industry, with over 132,400 stores across the country, posted more than $290 billion in total sales for 2002, with $181 billion in motor fuel sales.