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Straightedge Scores More Dollars In North America


Straightedge Scores More Dollars In North America

New Paid Trials Signal Further Penetration And Revenue for Straightedge In The Lucrative North American Market

Auckland, 1 August 2002 - Straightedge Limited (NZSE:SRE) today announced that its intended acquisition, Carter Holt Harvey's Straightedge Division, has received its first purchase orders for paid trials with major buying group customers in Canada.

Darren Wallbank, General Manager of Straightedge Division says recent success with the largest hardware chains in North America is escalating as more of the mega chains - over 500 stores -buy the Biz-e DIY design software and kiosk licenses for trials.

"To date we have had 100% success with every store visit, having completed 15 more store visits in the last two weeks. Demand for our Biz-e Builder software product is just taking off as those stores that have signed for trials spread the news among other stores," says Wallbank.

"In the last few days Straightedge has sold a few thousand more CDs and a number of kiosk licenses to stores within TIM-BR Mart, Rona and Home Hardware buying groups of Canada. One of these stores has asked for five licenses alone. This is just the tip of the DIY iceberg - when each of these stores goes from trial to rollout the orders will be substantial. These trials are critical for positioning us well with all stores in each mega chain of stores. Decisions are made now through October for the spring season which launches in January '03.

"For example, the Home Hardware stores trialling Biz-e Builder, sets Straightedge up well for their trade show on the 21-23rd of September where we expect the majority of their 1,025 stores to attend. Straightedge will be a known quantity at that trade show with plenty of positive internal references. Our success in establishing trials ahead of this trade show gives us the confidence we can sign up 100 stores over the three days. We didn't realise such a proprietary selling opportunity was possible when we began working in the North American market several months ago. Now we're planning to be at several more shows this northern autumn on the back of planned trials in the next few weeks."

Wallbank also says that another upside from seeing stores within the buying groups is that a number of them also carry plumbing and kitchen ranges.

"Several buying groups have asked to see our Virtual Worlds product and all have said they want this product as fast as they can get it. In our business planning we hadn't factored in penetration of Virtual Worlds into these buying groups which is now looking like a significant opportunity," says Wallbank.

Marc Potter, Chairman of Straightedge Limited says the North American demand is confirmation that the business has the right products and unique Kiwi know-how to take on the biggest market in the world.

"The news from North America is very encouraging. These early wins for Straightedge means that we are already ahead of our initial forecasts and projections which can only be positive for the sustained growth of the company and the value to shareholders," says Potter.

"I am delighted to be part of negotiations for reseller and support agreements for Straightedge in North America which are part of the scaling-up formula. These are great challenges to have at an early stage and a confirmation of the market strategy."

"What is even more pleasing for me personally, as an investor and Chairman, is how quickly Straightedge is reaching a critical mass in Canada and the U.S. in terms of access to massive distribution channels and sales."

Straightedge Limited has extended the public offer of shares in the company until Friday 16 August. The minimum application is 2,000 shares at $0.50 cents each and application forms can be obtained from any member of the NZSE or organising broker Forsyth Barr Limited or downloaded from the company's website -


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