IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

2013 News

Getting IT Right Internationally
  • 4 Dec 2013
Getting IT Right Internationally
Our Nottingham head office is a ‘hub’ of activity, with our Managed Services division now providing IT support to retail clients across 19 countries. Not only does our Help Desk support team provide around the clock cover, but are also fluent in 7 languages, enabling us to provide support to store staff wherever they are in the world, regardless of time zone or country. In addition to providing Managed Services to multiple markets, Retail Assist’s implementation team has also been clocking up the air miles.  This has been through our support to Karen Millen, Oasis, Warehouse and Coast, rolling out new store systems across four countries. This project involved replacing existing store systems with Retail Assist’s data exchange, retail communications and polling solution, Ra-X.  All of which was completed within six weeks. Dan Smith, CEO of Retail Assist’s Managed Services Division comments; “Leaps forward in technology, in particular through wi-fi and cloud computing, now make roll out of international retail operations into new territories less technically demanding. In the past, retailers would need to deal with multiple telecoms operators and overcome technical challenges caused by variations in the local infrastructure in place in each market.  Now retailers can host their entire information system in the cloud, with stores accessing and exchanging data simply through a tablet device connected to the internet through wi-fi.” “We expect Retail Assist to deliver increased levels of international activity, not just from retailers expanding their store network, but also due to our Help Desk’s international language support, aiding international growth plans. This, along with our ability to provide remote desktop systems support, from our Nottingham based hub, allows retailers from across the globe to benefit from our expertise.”…
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ORWA 2014 Small Banner JPEG
  • 14 Nov 2013
Retail Assist and Jacques Vert Group Plc shortlisted for the ‘Oracle Retail Week Awards 2014’
We are delighted to announce that Retail Assist has been shortlisted with our client Jacques Vert Group Plc at the forthcoming Oracle Retail Week Awards 2014, in the ‘Re Think Technology Initiative of the Year category’. The project involved a large scale international implementation of Merret across all nine brands of the Jacques Vert Group. This was completed over a short time frame, delivered on time and under budget, making its completion a huge achievement for everyone involved. As a result the Jacques Vert Group can now provide true omnichannel retailing, supplying customers through their central stock pool regardless of channel, offering seamless and effective trading. Alan Morris, Retail Assist Executive Chairman comments: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this well recognised and high profile event in the retail calendar.  Just the fact that we have been nominated is a great accolade and we look forward to our continued partnership with Jacques Vert, supporting them now and moving forward into the future.” The Retail Week Awards looks for a high level of excellence and innovation, searching for retailers that continue to go the extra mile to stand out.  It also provides a great opportunity to celebrate all that is great about British retailing.  The 2014 winner of ‘Technology Initiative of the Year’ will be announced on the evening of Thursday 13th March 2014.  The ceremony is being held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.…
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15 Years of Retail Assist Leads to a ‘Record’ Success
  • 6 Oct 2013
New breed of tablet devices could help retailers connect to more affordable IT
Retailers have begun to get switched onto the idea that bringing tablet computers onto the shop floor can help them tap into a smarter way to keep tabs on their product mix, stock levels, returns and orders. What’s more, tablets enable retail staff to carry out multi-functional tasks – from one device they can not only manage stock, but also carry out staffing tasks like timesheeting through to taking customers online whilst in store to browse the season’s collection. In the fashion conscious environment, Apple iPads have seemed the default choice, but buying  multiple devices per store can soon add up to a cost that isn’t going to make the Finance Director very ‘appy’.  So it’s interesting to see that Google’s Nexus device is emerging as a real alternative, and at a price that could halve the investment required to get the store tapped into this technology. At Retail Assist we are currently piloting the use of our Merret supply chain software services using the Google Nexus device on behalf of a high street fashion retailer, and we anticipate roll out across the estate in early 2014.  At the same time we continue to look at how ‘new kids on the block’ like Microsoft Surface could also provide retailers with new ways to connect their IT across multi-channel retail. Despite these new options, we still love our iPads and we recognise that the brand appeal of Apple can add to the retailer’s own brand and instore experience, which could be a factor in final device choice. Retailers looking to up-spec their shop floor kit might want to remind the FD that even as the ‘expensive’ option iPads can be half the cost of a hand held terminal, so switching to tablets could be an easier pill to swallow to tap into next generation retailing IT.…
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Robin Coles
  • 26 Sep 2013
Robin Coles Joins Retail Assist
Retail Assist has appointed Robin Coles to join the company’s rapidly expanding team, in new role as ‘Head of Product Strategy’. This latest appointment follows a double award win for Retail Assist. With over 25 years of experience working alongside fashion and apparel retail businesses, Coles brings with him a wealth of retail knowledge, from the writing of a merchandising system to working effectively alongside sales teams. Coles said: “Fashion retail businesses often want to deal with suppliers that can be agile, flexible and who can grow with the retailer. I felt that Retail Assist was the perfect match for this, and I wanted to be a part of that. I believe that good product management is a combination of strategic thinking and tactical daily input from the client base. I intend to involve myself with all current activities at Retail Assist, whilst using my experience and expertise to drive strategic direction.” Nigel Illingworth, Chief Executive Officer of Merret at Retail Assist, said: “We are extremely pleased to have Robin on board. He is a great addition to the team, and look forward to working together to deliver solutions that will further enable effective trading across channels, whilst minimising cost to the client.”…
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Retail-Assist-supplier of the year
  • 23 Sep 2013
Retail Assist wins ‘Supplier of the Year’
Retail Assist were awarded ‘Supplier of the Year’ at last night’s Best Food Logistics (Formerly Bidvest) and 3663 internal awards ceremony.  The award is particularly special as Retail Assist were nominated and voted for by Best Food Logistics themselves. The honour marks the third award win for Retail Assist this year. Alan Morris, Executive Chairman at Retail Assist, said: “This is the third award we have won this year, and second award we have won with Best Food Logistics and 3663.  Last year we won ‘New Supplier of the Year’, and this year we won the overall ‘Supplier of the Year’ award from within the entire supplier base to both Best Food Logistics and 3663.  Winning twice is a first at these awards, as no other supplier has ever won award categories in two consecutive years. We were informed that our win was based on a unanimous decision from the board of Directors at both Best Food Logistics and 3663. Andrew Selley, Managing Director at Best Food, was full of praise for the Retail Assist team and has congratulated us on our ‘well deserved’ success. “Much hard work has gone in to our relationship with Best Food Logistics, and this is excellent recognition of the efforts, and high standard of work that has been achieved by the team.”…
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100 days to xmas
  • 17 Sep 2013
100 days to Christmas: research reveals the shopping strategies to crack Christmas
As Tuesday 17th September marks 100 days to go until Christmas Day, new exclusive research conducted by OnePoll for retail technology company, Retail Assist reveals the shopping strategies that consumers plan to use to crack Christmas this year. With 34% of people having already bought their first Christmas present, shoppers are already getting ahead of the seasonal spending spree, using a mixture of in-store, mobile and online shopping to grab their gifts of choice. Whilst the majority of people (57%) expect to shop using a mixture of online and offline shopping, consumer, 25% of consumers expected to do all of their shopping online and only 15% of shoppers predicting they will buy all their Christmas gifts in-store. Typically the drive to buy online has been to save time and money, but the results from Retail Assist’s research has exploded these myths.  In fact the research revealed that shoppers on average will still spend 35 minutes browsing online per gift, with the main reason for avoiding the shops cited by 57% of people as being to avoid the crowds in-store and not bag a bargain. Whilst tablet computers seemed to be the gift of choice in 2012, most shoppers (42%) planned to use their laptop to click through their shopping list, suggesting an element of multi-tasking Christmas jobs alongside home, work and family commitments.  This theory is reinforced with the insight that 42% of shoppers admit that they plan to sneakily buy a gift for a family member while they sit on the sofa watching TV and 6% of purchases will be made using a work computer.  15% of shoppers will use tablet devices and 5% will use mobile phones which also indicates that gifts may be grabbed on-the-go. Tapping into technology is also set to take another step forward this Christmas as retailer’s Click & Collect services mature with 37% of consumers expecting to use this option to beat the high street battle. Alan Morris, Executive Chairman and co-founder of leading technology company Retail Assist, said: “The retail industry has been gearing up for Christmas for months, but now as we hit 100 days to go this is an exciting and crucial time for high street and online retailers.  This research should be encouraging to retailers as it shows that consumers are comfortable with using the wealth of online options, but also still value the experience of hitting the high street.  However, with queues and crowds coming out as the top reason people are disinclined to hit the high street during Christmas, retailing giants should work to increase store efficiency, show accurate stock knowledge, and provide faster service in order to attract customers back.” If you are interested in receiving an infographic that outlines our findings, please e-mail us.…
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Retail assist puts customers first
  • 12 Sep 2013
Retail Assist Puts The Customer First
Nottinghamshire’s Company of the Year, Retail Assist, is continuing its commitment to the region and the retailers it supports.  It is driving innovation and continuous improvements to service delivery through its unique engagement of Nottingham’s retailers. It has put together an exclusive group involving the users of its IT helpdesk service in a forum known as the ‘Help Desk Advisory Board’.  This sees Nottingham store staff from brands such as Coast, Oasis, Karen Millen, Superdry and more, alongside staff members from Retail Assist, entering into discussions that aim to improve service in a way that is mutually beneficial. The ‘Help Desk Advisory Board’ meets every few months, and acts as a critical friend, to discuss current challenges faced in the retail environment, innovative ideas for future service delivery and to effectively make changes in the service provided by Retail Assist.  Store teams are able to influence the delivery of the service they receive, and get involved in innovative service trials. Retail Assist is able to drive service improvements based on the advice of its retail store user base. The success of service trials will then be launched nationwide to the retailers supported by Retail Assist’s Nottingham based helpdesk, and is set to make a real impact on efficiency for international retailers supported by Retail Assist. Dan Smith, CEO of Managed Services at Retail Assist said: “The Help Desk Advisory Board is driving user based innovation and changes to the delivery of service.  It’s a brilliant opportunity to get closer to the users of our service, and understand their requirements more distinctively.  It also provides us with an opportunity to make a wider impact to the service we deliver to our help desk clients internationally.” Gemma, Store Manager of Coast in Nottingham comments: “Being involved in the Help Desk Advisory Board means our voice as retailers gets heard, giving us a feeling of valued involvement, which enables us to make our systems more effective and efficient.”…
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  • 4 Jun 2013
Jacques Vert and Retail Assist Win Supply Chain Excellence Award
Jacques Vert and Retail Assist won the ‘Supply Chain Excellence’ award at last night’s Retail Week Technology Awards, in an impressive ceremony held at the London Hilton, Park Lane. Retail Assist’s supply chain solution – Merret – was chosen to fuel the international and multichannel growth aspirations of the newly merged Jacques Vert group and Irisa group. The implementation has proven extremely successful, enabling the brands to trade seamlessly as global multichannel retailers.  The merger of JVG with Irisa has grown the retailer from 4 to 10 brands, and enabled the retailer to become the largest concession retailer in the UK. The Retail Week Technology Awards recognise excellence in technology over the past year. ‘Supply Chain Excellence’ was a tough category – Jacques Vert and Retail Assist were up against Costco Wholesale with Portaltech Reply, Costco International Platform, Debenhams Endless Aisle, O2 with Liaison Technologies, O’Neill with Liaison Technologies and Shop Direct Group with Kewill. However, Jacques Vert and Retail Assist impressed judges with the speed of implementation and smooth transition of systems across 10 brands and 1900 outlets globally. Nigel Illingworth, Chief Executive Officer – Merret comments: “We are extremely  proud to have been awarded ‘Supply Chain Excellence’ for our work across the Jacques Vert Group for the Merret implementation.  We are delighted about the success of the project, and the ability of the brands to now trade seamlessly as global multichannel retailers.  It is a great honour to have this work recognised at the Retail Week Technology Awards, and we look forward to a continued successful partnership with the Jacques Vert Group.”…
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Retail Assist Logo
  • 3 May 2013
Retail Assist awarded ‘Company of the Year’ at the Nottingham Post Business Awards 2013
Retail assist scooped the top award of ‘Company of the Year’ at last nights prestigious Nottingham Post Business Awards. The awards celebrate excellence in the region, and were presented at a glittering ceremony at the East Midlands Conference Centre. The evening also saw Retail Assist as finalists for the ‘Sales and Marketing Award.’ The Nottingham Post Business Awards is the county’s celebration in business excellence, rewarding Nottingham’s most successful businesses through a variety of award categories. Despite tough competition and a rigorous judging process Retail Assist was presented with the top award, having impressed judges with the strength of their team and the success and achievements of work carried out over its 14 year trading history. Alan Morris, Executive Chairman at Retail Assist, said: “Winning ‘Company of the Year’ at this years Nottingham Post Awards is a fantastic achievement, and something that everyone in the company has contributed to achieving.  Retail Assist works hard to deliver the best across all areas of the business, and it is an honour to have that hard work recognised. We look forward to continuing our success.”…
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Retail Assist Logo
  • 12 Apr 2013
Retail Assist Shortlisted for ‘Sales and Marketing’ Award and ‘Company Of The Year’
Retail Assist has been shortlisted in both the ‘Sales and Marketing Award’ and ‘Company of the Year’ categories at the Nottingham Post Business Awards 2013.  The awards celebrate excellence in the region. The Nottingham Post Business Awards is the county’s celebration in business excellence, highlighting both small and large business for individual success and rewarding Nottingham’s most successful businesses through a variety of award categories. The ‘Sales and Marketing Award’ and ‘Company of the Year’ categories examine the innovation of the business, and excellence displayed throughout the organisation. Alan Morris, Executive Chairman at Retail Assist, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for these awards.  To have our achievements recognised is a great honour, and a true reflection of the hard work carried out by our teams.”…
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