'Woolworths announces purchase of Virtual Market Place and MySchool programme Woolworths is pleased to announce the purchase of Virtual Market Place (VMP) – the originator and operator of the highly successful MySchool programme. VMP will continue to operate as an independent entity within the Woolworths business, providing important support to the MySchool programme. Woolworths has been associated with the MySchool programme for over six years and intends to continue to develop this brand as an important part of the Woolworths brand portfolio. “We have steadily been increasing our commitment to VMP and MySchool – particularly through increased marketing activity” comments Richard Inskip, Director of operations for Woolworths. “The programme has become a very important part of our overall brand and we have donated over R22,5 million to the MySchool programme and schools on the programme. We already have a strong relationship with VMP and certainly value the skills and resources they bring to the business. Together we will continue to grow MySchool and help it go from strength to strength.” VMP was founded eight years ago by Graham Bath, the man behind the MySchool concept. It will continue under its present name and as a multi-partner, community-based programme. Woolworths Director Norman Thomson and Company secretary Cherrie Lowe will take up places on its board, which will operate under the chairmanship of Richard Inskip. Woolworths purchase of VMP will be effective on 1 May 2006. ENDS NOTES FOR EDITORS The MySchool programme, first launched in 1997, is way to raise funds for South African schools. By spending money at participating retailers, consumers throughout South Africa who carry MySchool cards can earn additional funds for their chosen schools by simply swiping their MySchool card at the tills each time they buy at Woolworths. The MySchool Card is now part of the new Woolworths World of Difference Card – Woolworths’ loyalty programme launched last year. MySchool presently has 700 000 supporters across the country with 9 500 nominated schools and 10 MyVillage communities. Its linked turnover is approximately 15% Woolworths’ annual total sales.