In response to strong demand from the industry, the WorldWide Retail Exchange (WWRE), the Internet-based business-to-business (B2B) exchange for retailers and their suppliers, today announced it will reopen its membership ranks to new retailers starting April 1, 2001.

The move is expected to increase the WWRE's retailer base from its original 53 members, allowing more companies to deal directly with suppliers through a single, web-based community.

"Interest in the WorldWide Retail Exchange is significantly increasing as more and more organisations realize that web-based transactions can streamline the supply chain and lower overall organisation costs," said Colin Dyer, chief executive officer of the WWRE.

Membership was temporarily closed in October when the WWRE reached its initial membership target. Although membership will not officially open until April, the WWRE will accept applications for membership immediately.

Last week, the WWRE officially opened the doors to its worldwide headquarters in Alexandria, VA. The WWRE plans to open regional offices in Europe and Asia (Tokyo) by the end of the first/early second quarter.