SoftWide service deployed by US Microsoft stores and Tesco in UK

On-site publishing could spell the end of boxed software

Tribeka’s SoftWide operation – which provides a massive in-store database of products that can be printed on the spot – looks poised to massively boost its presence and impact on the IT industry, after crucial deals with retail behemoth Tesco and the world’s biggest software publisher, Microsoft.

Tesco will be rolling out the in-store software manufacturing business across the country starting this month, Tribeka having consolidated its presence in the European market with the strong success of its trials with French retail giant Carrefour.

SoftWide will be implemented in Tesco without any UK trials, based purely on the success of the Carrefour operation. “The trials were massively successful with sales boosted by up to 25 per cent and, thanks to SoftWide, Carrefour now offers one of Europe’s largest software ranges,” Tribeka’s chief operations officer, Stephen Precious, told PCR. “The trials ended late last year and they’ve now gone on to a rollout throughout Belgium, which is the test bed for Carrefour worldwide. That could be followed by up to 120 stores in France, but we’re also in discussions about expanding it to Greece, Turkey and Poland.”

Microsoft, which many would assume would be against the system, being heavily invested in boxed products, will now use the SoftWide system in its new retail premises in the US. “It’s interesting because we planned to establish ourselves in Europe and then think about an American expansion, but Microsoft came to us, so it was an ideal opportunity,” added Precious.

“I think we’ve been the UK’s best kept secret. We wanted to quietly build our presence and now the business is rolling forward under its own momentum – and why wouldn’t it? For a small investment, our partners can beat the internet and provide the product to their customers immediately.”

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