IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

Our customers

Supporting the “New Normal” Count On Our Unwavering Support
  • 31 Mar 2020
Supporting the “New Normal”: Count On Our Unwavering Support
Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Lead Although many businesses claim to put their customers at the heart of everything they do, for us, putting the customer (and our customer’s customer) at the centre of our operations has always been our modus operandi. That’s certainly something that will never change. So much has happened in the last two weeks that it’s been absolutely mind-boggling. For many of our customers and our partners, it’s simply not “business as usual”; the reality is that retail and hospitality sectors are facing many pressures in light of our “new normal”. So, if our customers are not “business as usual” then, by definition, neither are we. Except, for us, our business – providing the best customer support, especially at times of crisis – is unwavering. This is a time when our customers need to count on our support, more than ever. So, whilst the world has changed, our core objective hasn’t: we’re here to support our customers, no matter what the current situation throws at them. Working From Home So, what have our teams been doing? Like many businesses up and down the country – and, indeed, around the world – we’ve seen huge shifts of teams taking their work from the office to their homes. We’ve built many laptops, installed software and continue supporting VPNs, so that our customers can continue their work, no matter where they’re based. We’ve enabled our users to work remotely, ensuring their operations are as consistent as possible. One of the qualities we pride ourselves on is our ability to evolve; in our 20 years of trading, we’ve always been proactive in our approach, been able to react swiftly and to provide support no matter what the changing needs of our customers are. Now is no different; whatever issues COVID-19 throws at us or the sanctions being placed on our society to minimise the threat, our teams are here to consider the best IT support that underpins their operations. So, although your business isn’t “usual”, our key objective remains the same. Dan Smith, our CEO, said: “Our initial focus has been on assisting our partners of the last 20 years, and Retail Assist has naturally prioritised our customers over requests we have received from outside our existing client base. We are here, like our clients, for the long term and we are supporting them in moving towards the “new normal”. There is no need to make a drama out of a crisis: this is the time for a measured and supportive response.” Customer Support We’re so proud of our internal teams and the way they have worked together to provide incredible support to our customers, especially at a time where they need it most. It turns out that many of our customers feel the same. We’ve been delighted to hear the positive feedback from our customers about our teams’ work over the last couple of weeks. Here’s just some of the lovely things they had to say. Is your IT…
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Mint Velvet Customer Testimonial
  • 6 Jan 2020
“We’ve Had Retail Assist with Us All the Way”: How Retail Assist has underpinned the growth of Mint Velvet
Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Lead We’re kicking off this new decade with a celebration of our own decade-long partnership: in the latest in our client testimonial video series, we spoke to Laura Boyd, Trading Director at Mint Velvet. Since we started supporting Mint Velvet in 2009, their business has grown from one shop to well over one hundred high street locations, a growing international presence, with Drapers reporting that turnover at Mint Velvet’s holding company, Sabre Retail Fashion, has risen to £101m. Laura said: “Retail Assist has been our partner since the birth of Mint Velvet. We partnered with Retail Assist right on day one to get the business up and running so, from that very first store that we opened in Chichester, to now, where we have over 150 locations on the UK high street and a very big digital ecommerce business which actually accounts for 50% of the brand’s sales, we’ve had Retail Assist with us all the way.” Click here to watch the video on YouTube. How do we support Mint Velvet? We provide complete IT support services for Mint Velvet, including our first-line Help Desk support, technical services, 2nd-line store systems support (including store openings), IT project management, business and network comms support, data centre (including support of machines, back-ups and operational support) and our supply chain software solution, Merret, and data exchange solution, Ra-X. Mint Velvet have been using our omnichannel supply chain, Merret, since 2009. “The reason the solution’s so valuable is that it really is an end-to-end solution for us,” Laura explained. “It provides everything the team needs in head office, so they have the back-office system for raising purchase orders, which is the very beginning of the process, and has the WSSI, which allows the teams to manage the stock, sales and intake through the business. “We also have an international presence now: we trade internationally in bricks-and-mortar stores and digitally. Again, Retail Assist has been the partner that has allowed us to do that and has supported that journey.” This has been through our software solutions and Help Desk support to their stores. How has our partnership evolved? Reflecting on the partnership, Laura said: “The high street and the way in which people have shopped has changed and, as it changes, we’ve needed to evolve the way in which we operate. Along the journey, there’s been many times we’ve requested enhancements or changes to the product and every time this has been required, together, as a team, we’ve been able to deliver what we wanted. “Retail Assist has been very open and supportive to changing that product to support our needs.” We’re here to support your expansion plans for this decade – and beyond! Click here to get in touch or email…
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Retail Assist Client Drinks
  • 2 Dec 2019
We’ll drink to that! Celebrating Another Successful Year at Our Client Drinks Event
Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Lead It might only seem like a few weeks has passed since our summer birthday drinks event, but it was time to party again! Held at the new Simmons bar on Oxford Street, we were right in the heart of London’s infamous shopping district. With our customers and partners all gathered, we saw out the year with some festive cheer. A huge thank you to everyone who attended – we had a brilliant time and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces, and to meet some new ones, too. Did you attend? Scroll down to see our photos of the night.…
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Ted Baker Customer Testimonial
  • 3 Jun 2019
“Retail Assist was by far and away the best partner for Ted’s retail brand” Our Customer Testimonial Series Continues With Ted Baker
Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Executive Having opened as a shirt specialist in 1987, Ted Baker has grown from its original store in Glasgow to the impressive international lifestyle brand it is today. With stores not only across the United Kingdom but also across the globe, Ted Baker’s impressive store estate – including airports and department stores – continues to provide excellent customer service, no matter what the trading hours. Ted Baker chose Retail Assist’s IT Help Desk to provide first-line IT services for Ted Baker stores across the UK and Europe, as a single point of contact for all IT-related issues, 7 days a week. We spoke to Simon Brealy, Global Service Delivery Manager, about why Ted Baker chose Retail Assist and what makes the service we deliver so valuable to their business. Click here to watch the video on YouTube After an RFP process, Ted Baker decided that “Retail Assist was by far and away the best partner for Ted’s retail brand”. Explaining what won Retail Assist the RFP, Simon added it was “the financial benefits of moving to a more European-centric partner”. He said: “Some of the best provision and offerings from Retail Assist were very much around the cost effectiveness, providing us with a 24/7 support function. Something that was critical for Ted Baker was the bilingual support we got from the team.” Simon explained that the benefit of outsourcing extra IT support has been clear. “Our service desk were looking after many hundreds of office based employees alongside looking after our retail partners. Since partnering with Retail Assist, we’ve been able to develop what (the service delivery within) Ted’s IT delivers; rather than focusing on 1st and 2nd line tickets coming in across our European estate, they’re now 100% dealt with by Retail Assist.” “Because of the standard Retail Assist has delivered to us, my service delivery teams have been able to focus much more on proactively supporting the business and focusing more on the project deliveries, which has in turn had a much more positive impact on the wider business.” If you’d like to hear more about how we can support your growing business requirements – and save you time and money in the process – then click here or email Want to see more of our customer testimonial series? Click here to visit our YouTube page.…
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Dufry Customer Testimonial
  • 9 Jan 2019
Dufry reflect on Retail Assist support
Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Executive Serving in airports all over the globe, Dufry’s impressive brand portfolio continues to provide excellent customer service at all hours of the day. With this in mind, Dufry decided to outsource their front-line IT services and it was paramount to find a support partner who could deliver round-the-clock care and operational monitoring. Gary McDonald, Head of IT, said: “We found ourselves in a position where we needed someone to support our POS solution at very short notice. Retail Assist were recommended by a support partner who could hit the ground running. “Retail Assist came into our environment and lived and breathed our solutions.” Click here to watch the video. He continued: “Retail Assist came to the table and provided the key support function for us, 24/7, 365, for a number of years now.” Having previously traded as World Duty Free, Dufry has encountered much change as a company. Gary reflected: “The transition from World Duty Free to being under the Dufry umbrella is significant. There has been a lot of change for us as a company, but also significant change for our support partners who adapt and move with the pace that Dufry now do things.” If you would like to know more about the support that Retail Assist offers, get in touch at…
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retail IT solutions
  • 15 Aug 2016
Do we really need to “save” the high street?
News dominating the retail headlines this week: the high profile closure of BHS’ flagship store on Oxford Street. Videos of the last minute shut-down scramble for 80% discounted goods, and the shutters finally closing on the crumbling, 88 year old brand. The last of BHS’s total 163 stores are scheduled to close on August 20th. Commentary from John Ryan at Retail Week puts BHS’s demise down to “falling behind”: “Cue lamentations and commentary asking how this could have happened. It happened, bluntly, because both shops and stock weren’t, latterly, up to much“ And yet, track back just one week – we had glowing reports of a sunny July accounting for a retail sales rebound of 1.1 per cent, and a recovering high street. On a total basis, sales rose 1.9 per cent, against a 2.2 cent increase in July 2015. Nonetheless, the BRC said this was the “strongest growth since January”. So, does the high street really need “saving”, as many daily papers have headlined for the past year? We think it requires a more sophisticated approach. In today’s omnichannel world, the store needs to be much more than just a store. In a recent survey we conducted, we found that the biggest High St advocates were Gen Z – the up and coming younger generation, with a newly found spending power and a connectedness across all channels. 84% of them see shopping as part of their day out activities, and so the customer experience must be prioritised. With a growing appetite for convenience, and a need for seamless digital integration, stores need to become a critical part of your retail strategy to service the “need it now” desire. Product showing as out of stock online? It shouldn’t be, if the product is hanging in abundance in one of your stores. Not available in-store? There should be the ‘endless aisle’ option to shop your entire inventory in-store on responsive tablets. As always, it’s about joining up your retail offering across channels, ensuring that your stock is visible in real time, inventory is flexible ready to fulfil orders across any channel. As Retail Week’s latest industry snapshot revealed (LCP Consulting Report), retailers with omnichannel capabilities are twice as likely to report double digit growth. If you’re looking for technologies that will influence the future customer journey, sign up for our latest event: a concept pop-up technology store, in partnership with Karen Millen. Coming to Hoxton for just 3 days only 21st-23rd September, retailers are signing up to be taken on an interactive experience, with in-store technology that is affordable, easily deployable, and available now. Registration for a Nexpo tour can be completed in just 1 minute, using the following link:…
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retail IT solutions
  • 4 Jul 2016
RA Summer Event 2016
Last week, we celebrated our Annual Summer Event with our customers; retailers and hospitality brands that we’re proud to support with our IT services and solutions. Many thanks to those who joined us for drinks and bowling at All Star Lanes on Brick Lane! We had a great evening, and hope that you did too. Of course, a Retail Assist event wouldn’t be complete without some fun, so our bowling competition provided great entertainment, plus some top-class cocktails thanks to our dedicated mixologist! We’re pleased to announce that Pizza Hut were the overall winners of the bowling event. Congratulations! To see the whole album, head over to our Facebook page. We love hosting our annual Summer Drinks, and we’re already excited for our next client events! We have long-standing relationships with our customers, spanning up to 15 years. At Retail Assist, our customers are at the heart of what we do. The difference that we offer as a business, is that we can provide you with the whole retail and hospitality IT package. Not only can we manage the full implementation process of retail IT solutions, but we will also support your business with our Managed Services. All of this, 24×7×365, across the globe with multilingual support.…
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  • 14 Sep 2015
Retail Assist sail to victory!
We celebrated a great success on the Solent last week, as we scooped the gold medal at our annual sailing event. Each year, we head south for a few days to spend time with our great customers, and enjoy a fun but physical day sailing together. This year was slightly different, bringing competition to the event! Our hardware support partners, Vista Retail Support, and old colleagues, Cybertill, joined us on the Solent for an exciting 3 boat race. Our clients from various retail & hospitality brands, including Starbucks, Mint Velvet, East and Anthony Nichols Group, put on their branded RA team tops and caps, and took to the sailing boat after a quick team-talk by our favourite skipper Jono from Blue Box Sailing. It was a beautiful day in Southampton, with optimum conditions for sailing and a nice wind to get us going! RA had gold in their sights, but Vista and Cybertill also had a couple of seasoned sailors. We spent the morning training with the professional crew to prepare ourselves for the racing. After lunch we put the training into practice as the three Clipper 60s came together for a match race through the Solent. We all had the chance to try everything from working on the foredeck for sail hoists, to taking the wheel to steer. The race was fast-paced, and a last ditch attempt by Vista resulted in a very close finish, but RA made it over the line in 1st place ahead of Vista in 2nd, and Cybertill in 3rd. Our men took a well-earned rest, before a further 2 smaller races on the Solent. Well done to Team RA! Our relationships with our customers are very special, and we’d like to thank the clients that attended, and used their strength to help us sail to victory! We’re already looking forward to next year’s sailing. Our next client event will take place this Christmas. To see the whole photo album, visit our Facebook page here.…
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  • 29 Jun 2015
Here’s to Summer, and our great Customers
Last week, we celebrated our annual Summer Drinks event with our fantastic customers; retailers and hospitality brands that we’re proud to support with our IT services and solutions. On a lovely warm evening at a quirky venue in Soho, we had a great time over drinks and nibbles. Of course, a Retail Assist event wouldn’t be complete without some fun, so our photobooth corner provided some entertainment! We have long-standing relationships with our customers, spanning up to 14 years, and our events are a way of saying “thank you”, to our colleagues old and new. At Retail Assist, our customers are at the heart of what we do. The difference that we offer as a business, is that we can provide you with the whole retail IT package. Not only can we manage the full implementation process of retail IT solutions, thanks to our expert project managers, but we will also support the solution with our retail IT services, and provide longer term support in a more educative format, the Application Academy. All of this, 24×7, 365, across the globe with multilingual support.     To see the whole album, head over to our Facebook page. We love hosting our annual Summer Drinks, and we’re already excited for our festive end of year event. Exciting things to come.  …
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  • 6 Oct 2014
Celebrating 5 Years of Mint Velvet
After recently celebrating our own 15th Birthday we know how important every year is, and we are very excited for our customer, Mint Velvet, who will soon be celebrating their 5th Birthday. The Mint Velvet story began with three women, inspired by a desire for something new, who wanted to create a clothing collection which was both relaxed and glamorous, but sill at affordable prices. With a specific target audience, working mothers with modern lifestyles, they wanted to create something that worked with their demanding lifestyles and from this Mint Velvet was born. Mint Velvet believes that clothing should help make the women that wear them feel confident and gorgeous; whilst still fitting in to busy and active lifestyles. Mint Velvet launched in 2009, and in this same year we also began to work together. For Mint Velvet we provide a Managed Solution to include our Merret merchandising and warehousing solution, Triquestra’s Infinity PoS, plus complete IT support services. In 2010 ourselves and Mint Velvet won “Project Implementation of the Year” at the Retail Week Technology Awards for our project implementation success, and later that year went on to be shortlisted for ‘IT Project of the Year’ at the Retail Systems Awards. With award wins, and instant success in their initial House of Fraser concession openings, the Mint Velvet brand soon rolled out to further premium department stores, and the brand’s transactional website: The Managed Solution we provide for Mint Velvet delivered the foundations to support a growing business from the outset. Our solution combines all the required hardware, software and services in a single package and is integrated with store EPos and website. As a scalable solution Mint Velvet have found this to be extremely beneficial as they have under gone a huge expansion process throughout the last 5 years and have a further 4 stores opening within the year. Having achieved so much within their first 5 years we are not only proud to be able to say that we work with Mint Velvet but are also very excited to see what they achieve in the next 5 years. Happy Birthday Mint Velvet xxx If you would like any further information about any of our services then you can visit our website: or call us on: +44 (0) 115 853 3910. You can also search for us on Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news from Retail Assist.…
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