AMES TO OPEN CORPORATE PORTAL FOR STAFF, VENDORS

NEW YORK — Ames Department Stores is exploring cyberspace: The 460-unit discounter said last week it will launch PlanetAmes.com, a corporate portal.
Ames, based in Rocky Hill, Conn., has partnered with Plumtree Software, the San Francisco-based developer of corporate portals online, to build a Web site that will provide an overview of Ames for its nearly 40,000 associates and business partners. Also aiding the effort will be e-business consultant Answerthink.
Officials of Ames said in a statement the plan marks another step in the firm’s communications strategy to ensure that the needs of both its sales associates and business partners are met, as well as to provide a common venue in which they can view information from Ames’s stores and systems.
The goal: to enhance the company’s vendor partnership programs, and provide its suppliers with information about the chain’s product needs on a timely basis.
In addition, PlanetAmes will give the company’s sales associates access to external information, including industry news, weather and general news, so that the associates may perform several tasks from a single entry point, such as planning meetings, managing calendars, checking sales reports and linking with vendors, as well as keeping up on the news.