Redmond, WA - January 28, 2000 – ComputerGear, Inc. today received the American Excellence Award recognizing its "best practice champion" resulting from a winning strategies and best practices of American retailers study that was part of the American Retail Excellence project, funded by American Express in partnership with the National Retail Federation Foundation, and conducted by the Center for Retailing Education and Research at the University of Florida. In addition to the study results published in The Key to Best Practices in the Retailing Industry, the project includes a series of nationally scheduled seminars presenting the study’s findings. With over 37,000 retailers ranging from retail giants to single-store operators nominated for the award, ComputerGear’s superior customer service earned the company a “best practice champion” status. The study cited ComputerGear’s not publicized policy of going to a competitor to buy an out-of-stock item the customer wants rather than disappoint a customer, especially to meet international holiday shipping deadlines. “People are stressed enough when deciding on the right gift to give. They don’t need to be worrying about their gifts,” said Terry Powers, ComputerGear, Inc. President. In this situation, the store will purchase the item – paying full price – and then get it shipped in time. “I must admit that some of our staff doesn’t like it when they have to go out shopping for a customer when they don’t even want to go shopping during the holiday season for themselves!” ComputerGear does not advertise this extra customer service effort. All the customer knows is that the package arrived on time and everything they ordered was included. “The purpose of a retailer is to do right by the customer, not self-promote,” Powers said. “Our customers know that we’re dependable and we’ll try the darnest for them. That’s all they care about and that’s what builds customer loyalty.” ComputerGear sells a wide range of gift items for computer enthusiasts through their mail order catalog and on-line since 1992. Computer Gear has loyal followings of those in the market for “geek chic” – from apparel and jewelry with computer motifs to novelty items. Lots of mouse pads, T-shirts, office décor, robots, kids stuff, books, computer snacks and more. Free gift with $50 purchase and free monthly e-newsletter filled with special values and offers. For more information or for a free catalog, call ComputerGear, Inc. at (800) 373-6353 or visit www.computergear.com.