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Internet sales an important part of Record Year for local retailer

KITCHENER, Ontario (October 26, 1998) -- Since 1925, Braun's Bicycle & Fitness has been a permanent fixture in downtown Kitchener. And, after 73 years, business is still on the upswing! In fact, Robert Braun, General Manager of Braun's, is pleased to announce that the summer of 1998 was their best ever.

"July sales were up 18% over last year alone," says Braun, "which got the momentum moving for a very strong summer."

Braun attributes the strong year to a number of factors including a revitalized downtown core, excellent summer weather, and their Internet Commerce web site.

Their web site, located at www.brauns.com, has been an increasingly significant source of revenue growth for the retailer. Braun explains that "through the site, we are constantly selling and shipping products to new customers around the world." Sales through Brauns Online, the name of their site, are up 57% over last year, and continue to improve every month.

Using Galileo Commerce, an eCommerce package developed by The Galileo Group, Brauns Online also helps maintain sales during the winter, a traditional slow period for the industry. "Just because it's winter here doesn't mean that customers in the southern U.S. and other areas around the world aren't thinking about cycling," Braun says. "And this has opened up entirely new markets for us and boosted our sales volume for the year."

The web site, which has been recently re-launched with a whole new look and feel, is successful because of the commerce features it contains. Their site displays prices in both U.S. and Canadian currencies, calculates taxes and world-wide shipping costs, and customers can pay right on the site with their credit card. "The site makes it simple for a customer to buy something," says Braun, "which has been the key to our success on the net."

The final ingredient to Braun's record year has been their emphasis on customer service. "Of course, keeping our customers happy is always the most important aspect of our business," concludes Braun. "Whether our customers are in our store browsing and asking questions, or at their computer thousands of miles away, we always try to have quality information available and to make them happy."

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The Galileo Group Inc., located in the heart of Canada's Technology Triangle, is a supplier of high-performance, web-based computing solutions which help enterprises compete in the global marketplace. Galileo provides its clients with winning Internet and Intranet advantages through advanced networking infrastructures and integrated software solutions.

Braun's Bicycle & Fitness is located at 27 Scott Street in Kitchener, where they have sold high quality bicycle, fitness & fashion products since 1925.

For more information contact Bryon Thur, Vice President, Sales and Marketing of The Galileo Group Inc. at (519) 576-8317; for Internet inquiries, visit their web site at "www.galileo-group.com". Robert Braun, General Manager of Braun's Bicycle & Fitness, can be reached at (519) 579-2453, or by e-mail at robert@brauns.com.

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