IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality


UK IT Industry Awards
  • 16 Nov 2017
Retail Assist Wins ‘Services Company of the Year’ at the BCS UK IT Industry Awards!
Retail Assist: ‘Services Company of the Year’ 2017 We are delighted to announce that Retail Assist has won the award for ‘Services Company of the Year’ in the category of Organisational Excellence at the BCS UK IT Industry Awards 2017. The BCS UK IT Industry Awards are a platform for the entire profession to celebrate best practice, innovation and excellence. L-R: Rhianne Poole, Marketing Executive; Jane Gibbons, Account Manager; Rob Beckett, Host. The star-studded Awards Evening was held at Battersea Events Arena in London, where Retail Assist received the Winner’s Award on stage in front of thousands of guests. Retail Assist was recognised specifically for their strong, longstanding customer relationships, as well as the exceptional quality of their Managed IT Services offering.  Retail Assist was shortlisted for the award by the Chartered Institute for IT (BCS) and Computing, in August 2017 alongside nine other businesses in the IT services and solutions industry.  Dan Smith, CEO of Retail Assist, commented: “We are extremely proud to have our excellent achievements recognised at the prestigious UK IT Industry Awards. Our team work above and beyond to deliver great IT services and solutions to our clients all over the world. This award provides great recognition for the entire team at Retail Assist and we are delighted to be named Services Company of the Year”. Paul Fletcher, Group Chief Executive Officer of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT said: “Congratulations to all the winners and those who were highly commended in the UK IT Industry 2017 Awards. They perfectly demonstrate how the UK can and does make the most of its talent, recognising the highest levels of excellence across today’s IT sector. The standard of applications we received this year was outstanding, showcasing some of the brightest and best in our industry. The winners stood out as exceptional and inspiring, and should be very proud of their success.” Stuart Sumner, Editor of Computing, added: “Very well done to the winners and those who were highly commended on their achievements. The UK IT Industry Awards are rigorously judged and truly celebrate innovation and professionalism in IT today. To emerge as a winner or runner up is a major accomplishment.” Retail Assist’s latest 2017 award comes after being awarded ‘Best Managed Service Desk’ by the Service Desk Institute in 2016.…
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management apprenticeship
  • 17 Oct 2017
Retail Assist launches Management Apprenticeship programme
Retail Assist, a technology business whose IT software and support are used by some of the biggest names in retail and hospitality, is gearing up for growth by launching a UK-first Management Apprenticeship programme. ‘Apprenticeship’ is a word that most would associate with those at the very beginning of their career journey. But for Retail Assist, an innovative take on a very traditional form of training and development is shaping the next generation of Management within the company. After securing significant private-equity backing earlier this year, Retail Assist will become one of the earliest UK organisations to launch a Management Apprenticeship Scheme, which is kicking off in November 2017. 13 members of staff across Retail Assist’s 6 sites were selected to undergo the proactive management training programme. They range across a diverse range of functions, including HR, Service Delivery, IT Support and App Development. Joanne Thompson, Help Desk Team Leader, is undergoing the Management Apprenticeship The Management Apprenticeship will equip the cohort with the necessary knowledge and practical experience to confidently progress their careers within the organisation, as well as qualifying with a Chartered Management Institute Level 3 Diploma in Principles of Management & Leadership. Retail Assist’s Management Apprenticeship programme is supported by Julian Woodall, who was appointed as HR Director at Retail Assist 18 months ago. As part of Retail Assist’s continuous innovation within its development offering, Julian will have ongoing responsibility for the cutting-edge programme. He explains, “Management is about making things happen: through our Management Apprenticeship programme, Retail Assist is equipping, enabling, and giving confidence to its managers to proactively drive growth at a time of great change for the organisation. “By supporting best practice in talent management, we’re ensuring that the right people with the right skills are developed in order to make a difference. Retail Assist want to be seen as pioneers influencing this workplace change. “In line with new governmental arrangements, the apprenticeships offer the potential to upskill our existing workforce whilst improving employee engagement and satisfaction.” The development programme will be managed by a local Midlands-based training provider, Leadership in Action Ltd. Sharon Montgomery, Managing Director at Leadership in Action, commented: “We’re delighted to support Retail Assist in developing their managers, by adopting the 70:20:10 principles of learning. Our philosophy is that learning only translates into positive behaviours that deliver results and achieve return on investment, when knowledge is continually applied in the workplace. “Our programme is designed to develop learning through 70% job-related experiences; 20% through interaction with others, and 10% of formal learning. Retail Assist truly recognise the value its people bring to the business and through this programme is equipping its managers with the skills to help them achieve.” In addition to classroom-based training and workplace assignments, the programme will promote collaborative projects and peer coaching across Retail Assist’s multiple sites, to reinforce the collective development of the managers whilst embedding the training at a practical level. Dan Smith, CEO of Retail Assist, concludes: “Our commitment to developing the skills…
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  • 4 Aug 2017
Whitepaper: What is omnichannel retailing?
We’re excited to launch our latest whitepaper: what is omnichannel retailing? DOWNLOAD NOW. From the processes involved to the technology that underpins it, this whitepaper provides expert insight into omnichannel solutions, and the benefits that an omnichannel strategy can offer to retailers today. With 86% of retailers unhappy with their current omnichannel offer, we identify 5 key cultural and operational changes required to confidently fulfil customer demand anytime, anywhere, anyplace. To read the full whitepaper, simply enter your details below to download the free PDF. By clicking here you agree to our terms and conditions. More info From time to time we would like to send you information that delivers, develops and promotes our products and services that are relevant to you. Submitting your details tells us that you are OK with this and you also agree to our privacy policy and cookie policy. You can, of course, opt out of these communications at any time. What is omnichannel? Omnichannel retailing centres on the idea that a seamless shopping experience in physical stores, simultaneously with that of digital channel experiences, gives retailers a competitive edge over online-only retailers by leveraging their store assets. Our customers benefit from a single view of stock, a single view of the product, and a single view of the customer. Retailers with integrated front and back end operations are twice as likely to deliver double-digit growth. Read some our latest business success stories here. Merret is Retail Assist’s omnichannel supply chain solution for your entire global estate of stores and warehouses, including zonal pricing modules for optimising international operations, and user defined replenishment rules to ensure stock can be automatically and dynamically moved for maximum sales performance. Furthermore, integrated click-and-collect ability and rule-based fulfilment, including the ability to Ship-from-Store where suitable, utilise your entire inventory for greater profitability. Take a look at our What Is Omnichannel Retailing? video below:…
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Retail Assist Chairman
  • 10 Jul 2017
Retail Assist welcomes new Chairman
Retail Assist, the technology specialist whose IT software and support services are used by leading retail and hospitality brands, has appointed a new Chairman to its Board of Directors. After securing significant investment earlier this year from Foresight Group and RBS, Retail Assist has appointed Bill Joss to oversee the strategic direction of the business, providing focus for its ambitious growth plans. Bill’s 20 years of non-executive Chairman experience includes positions with leading technology, engineering, and managed services businesses around the world. As well as providing strategic expertise to Retail Assist’s Operational Board, Bill will represent the interests of Retail Assist’s Shareholders and investors. Explaining the new appointment, Retail Assist’s CEO Dan Smith said: “We’re going through an exciting transformation that comes with being a growing organisation, underpinning the technology infrastructure and operations of some of the biggest names in retail and hospitality internationally. “Retail Assist is performing brilliantly, securing high-profile clients amongst large scale investments to drive us to the next stage in our growth. Bill will help us to capitalise on that growth by securing wider opportunities for Retail Assist as it continues to become an even bigger player in the market.” Bill Joss, the new Non-Executive Chairman of Retail Assist, added, “I see huge potential for the business as a dynamic technology provider in a changing retail environment. By focussing on the best opportunities for Retail Assist, we shall unlock further potential in the market. “The demand for external managed services and outsourcing has become increasingly important in recent years, and Retail Assist is well-positioned to respond to this, having a credible history of industry achievements and an impressive client base.” Based in the UK, Bill is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, and a competitive endurance cyclist. Retail Assist employs more than 220 people across 6 UK sites, supporting over 40 retail and hospitality brands worldwide, 24 x 7 x 365.…
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Retail Assist Investment
  • 3 Apr 2017
Retail Assist gains multi-million pound investment for future growth
Leading IT managed services and solutions provider Retail Assist has secured a multi-million pound investment to facilitate its rapid growth strategy to double the size of the business over the next three years.  The deal sees investment from its original founders, private equity investment manager, Foresight Group, and Royal Bank of Scotland. As a retail and hospitality specialist, Retail Assist is providing the IT managed services and software solutions which underpin the success of brands such as Harvey Nichols, Karen Millen, ASOS, Oasis, Coast, Warehouse, Vue Cinemas, Pizza Hut, and Cath Kidston.  To date the company has achieved brilliant success with its impressive growth, customer portfolio, awards heritage, and it has attracted excellent talent, allowing Retail Assist to be in a strong position for future expansion. With a current turnover of £15m Retail Assist provides services and solutions across 66 countries, delivering support in 9 languages, and employs 220 people who have been responsible for the company’s success. Established in 1999, this year sees the business reach its 18th trading anniversary. Foresight Group was founded in 1984 by Bernard Fairman and Peter English and manages assets of £2.3 billion internationally with its headquarters at The Shard, London. Mike Quinn, Investor Director from Foresight Group stated: “Our investment into Retail Assist is an exciting opportunity to work with the highly-regarded Retail Assist team and we are looking forward to expanding their service and solution capabilities and adding to their already strong customer base. We have been impressed by their expertise, professionalism and ambitions for growth.” Under the new investment structure the company shall be led by the current CEO, Dan Smith, and Operational Board, with the addition of Mike Quinn from Foresight Group as Investor Director. Of the founder members from Retail Assist, Alan Morris and Nigel Illingworth will be retained in the business in a consultancy role, and as part of the investment team with Gary Broughton.  They will remain engaged in the business to assist with future development strategy for services and solutions. Dan Smith, CEO at Retail Assist said: “The investment will provide Retail Assist and its employees with a much wider opportunity for growth and progression as it continues to become an even bigger player in the market. At a time when retail and technology are constantly changing the investment brings with it a springboard for growth and the opportunity for expansion, whilst remaining true to the values and approach that Retail Assist engages with its customers.” Alan Morris, one of the founders of Retail Assist, continues: “After 18 years of trading, Retail Assist has come of age. We are very proud of the success Retail Assist has achieved so far.  With the investment backing and the successful foundations already laid, the potential for employees and for the customers it supports is very exciting and will enable Retail Assist to advance its services and solutions even further”.…
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merret supply chain
  • 7 Mar 2017
Morrisons Nutmeg launches women’s collection with Merret
Morrisons Nutmeg gains traction with Merret Retail Assist has supported Morrisons to launch its first ever womenswear collection, under its fashion retail brand Nutmeg. The womenswear range has been introduced after Nutmeg initially launched in 2013 with a range of affordable quality childrenswear, supported by Retail Assist’s supply chain solution, Merret. Within just 3 years, the popularity of the collection made Morrisons one of the top 20 fashion retailers in the UK in 2016. Merret is Retail Assist’s end-to-end supply chain solution, improving retailers’ business performance by maximising the financial potential of their stock inventory. Used by retail brands such as Harvey Nichols, Oasis, Karen Millen, and Whistles, Merret offers complete stock visibility, and real-time stock availability. Morrisons’ introduction of women’s clothes comes in conjunction with a recent technology project by Retail Assist to upgrade its Merret software to the latest version. Morrisons now benefits from a whole range of operational efficiencies, including faster overnight processing, and the ability to interface seamlessly with merchandise planning software. Nutmeg now features in all Morrisons UK stores. Morrisons’ Category Director of Clothing, Christine Bryce, said: “Upgrading to the latest version of Merret has helped take the Nutmeg brand to the next level, as we have debuted our women’s collection in 50 Morrisons stores.” Dan Smith, CEO of Retail Assist, added: “We’re proud to be supporting the Nutmeg label as it bolsters Morrisons’ fashion credentials, and are looking forward to working with the brand on its future strategy.” More information via:…
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International Help Desk
  • 25 Jan 2017
Help Desk Statistics 2017: Infographic
Retail Assist’s IT Help Desk is at the forefront of our business. Working 24 x 7 x 365, and supporting customers in 18 countries across thousands of global locations, our service offering has the industry seal of approval: winning “Best Managed Service Desk” at the IT Service and Support industry’s global awards last year. In our latest annual benchmarking, we’ve made an infographic detailing our key statistics from 2016, and how this compares with industry averages. We’re proud to highlight our headline stats: 10% higher achievement of Service Level Agreements, compared with industry average 4 x more sites supported than industry average Double the number of languages spoken than industry average 4 x more support capacity than industry average Outsourcing your IT Support is not only a cost effective solution, but also means that we can flex and scale with the level of support that you require. Out of hours support? No problem. And if this needs to be extended to 24 x 7, we can grow with you. International Help Desk Services and multilingual call analysts support our customers operating across the globe. You could join a whole host of retail and hospitality brands which are reaping the benefits of increased systems uptime, and reduced disruption to service. As an example of the value we have added to Pizza Hut’s business operations, within two months of outsourcing service desk provision, the number of incidents Pizza Hut experienced were reduced by 30%, as Retail Assist’s Help Desk delivered a first-line fix greater than 90%. Pizza Hut Restaurants are continuing to experience greater systems uptime at the point of service, commenting, “in the two years we’ve worked with Retail Assist, we’ve found them to be efficient and effective, which has resulted in us reaping the benefits of improved service to our operations and reduced disruption to customer service.” (Service Desk Manager). As our statistics show, we’re not just retail specific. A growing number of leading hospitality brands – including restaurants and big coffee chains – are turning to us for IT Support, given the wide range of experience we have in supporting standard PoS solutions, including Micros, Retail-J, Infinity, Simphony, Store 6, and many many more. If you’d like to know more, please contact our team using…
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Retail Project Management
  • 29 Nov 2016
Mint Velvet experiences the benefits of POS replacement project
  November 2016: Mint Velvet, the British luxury womenswear retailer, has revamped its entire store estate with new till hardware, managed and supported by Retail Assist. Across the UK and Ireland, 30 Mint Velvet stores have benefited from the technology refresh for a modernised look and feel, improved functionality and greater cost efficiencies. Mint Velvet came to Retail Assist with a requirement to replace its till systems, back office PCs, and end-of-life software. Within tight timescales of 5 months, the project needed completing before Mint Velvet’s peak trading season. The new hardware was also migrated onto Mint Velvet’s central IT domain, to improve communications and administration between Head Office, and between stores. Retail Assist’s retail Project Management team completed a hardware selection process, till configuration and roll-out, with ongoing support being provided by their award-winning IT Help Desk. The till installations were completed out of hours, causing no disruption to Mint Velvet’s day-to-day trading operations. Retail Assist also managed a team of third party engineers to ensure a slick and effective transition in stores. A strong example of Retail Assist’s continued retail IT support, Mint Velvet’s Regional Operations Manager and Store Managers were recently invited to Head Office for a practical training and feedback session on the new Infinity POS system. Mint Velvet’s Regional Operations Manager, Nicola Soar, commented: “The training day really emphasised the proactive nature of Retail Assist’s unique support model. With any new in-store technology, being able to continue a two-way information stream is essential for our Store Managers to make the most out of their new kit, and have resolved any issues. The team also enjoyed meeting Retail Assist’s Help Desk, to put faces to the names of the support they receive.” Lucy Horne, Head of IT at Mint Velvet added: “The IT and technology project completed by Retail Assist has enabled Mint Velvet to improve IT alignment, and maintain our growth plans with dependable technology and support.” Dan Smith, CEO at Retail Assist, commented: “The POS replacement project demonstrates our unique knowledge of the retail IT systems marketplace and expert ability to implement new technology. We are committed to supporting our customers in whichever way they require.” Mint Velvet also uses Retail Assist’s omnichannel supply chain solution, Merret, installed when the brand started up in 2009.   This article is available to request as a Case Study here. Keep checking our news page for more of our latest retail technology news.…
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Nexpo Retail Technology News
  • 26 Sep 2016
Nexpo launches retailing into the next generation
International fashion house, Karen Millen, launches a retail technology concept store in Shoreditch. In partnership with Retail Assist and a number of emerging tech firms, Nexpo showcases existing technology in Karen Millen stores such as wearable tech for store assistants and payment analytics, as well as a range of the latest technologies coming to market. This includes time-delay mirrors that allow customers to film and share videos of themselves trying on clothes, store heat mapping and RFID tagging garments to help retailers track their stock’s performance. Visitors to the store will have the opportunity to browse and shop the latest Karen Millen collections while testing the state-of-the-art technology, providing rich analytics to help design the ultimate in-store experience. Charlotte Ellis, Customer Director at Karen Millen, said: “It is fantastic to see progressive technology together in this environment with elements of the technology on show in this pop-up already being used in Karen Millen stores. This pop-up brings it all together in one place alongside new tech innovations, helping us create a highly engaging and differentiated client experience. We’re really excited about the potential for this emerging technology as a key part of our continued ambition to a leading accessible luxury fashion brand”. Alex Broxson, Head of Marketing at Retail Assist commented on the event: “Unlike so called ‘stores of the future’ most of the tech featured in the store is being trialled and tested already by retailers across the world. But, it hasn’t yet been introduced all together in one space, providing a singular, seamless customer shopping journey. That’s Nexpo’s critical difference.” Alan Morris, Executive Chairman of Retail Assist, added: “Retailers need to do all they can in stores to increase their conversion rate. The key to offsetting the trend of falling footfall is twofold: using technology to integrate the store into your omnichannel strategy, and understanding how it performs best in order to increase basket value. Your store could be your biggest untapped source of potential, with opportunities to sell more stock at full price. “The technology showcased at Nexpo will support retailers to achieve higher sales, wider market share and help better understand customers now and in the future.” Nexpo exhibiting technology partners include Enactor, Vista Retail Support, Vodat International, Inovretail, Adyen, DB Pixelhouse and Catalyst. If you require any further information about any of the partners, or any of the technology showcased, get in touch here, or call Alex Broxson on 0115 9042713. To be informed about any of our future events or any other retail technology news, please get in touch with us.…
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Retail Assist Record Financial Results
  • 5 Sep 2016
Retail Assist’s Record Financial Results
Media Release, September 2016: Retail Assist, the global award-winning software and support business which powers some of the biggest names on the high street, has revealed record results driven by growth in sales and customer numbers. Headquartered in Nottingham, the business’s turnover in 2015-16 leapt more than 10 per cent to £15m, with increasing numbers of retail and hospitality clients turning to its technology and services to help deliver sales growth and high-quality customer experience. Retail Assist provides software and technology support services which help clients like retailers and hospitality businesses globally, 24x7x365. The company’s turnover has risen by nearly 50 per cent in the space of only three years and Chief Finance Officer Matthew Proudlove says he expects growth to continue as customers look for centralised support during a period when technological transformation is driving omnichannel sales. “This has been our best ever year and it reflects the sustained commitment we’ve made to invest in good people, great products and consistently high support,” he said. “We are operating in growing markets where technology is, more than ever, central to success in retail and hospitality and we expect to see our strong performance continuing as there are many brands for whom the services we deliver and the way we operate are a very good fit.” Retail Assist employs 220 people at sites in Nottingham, Northampton and London, with most based at its head office on Friar Lane – also the home of its Help Desk operations. Retail Assist works with retail clients such as Harvey Nichols, Karen Millen and ASOS, major hospitality brands including Pizza Hut and cinema chain Vue. Matthew added: “This is a year in which we have delivered a number of key initiatives for our customers, among them a business-critical project for ASOS which will enable them to continue growing as the second largest online retailer. “Similarly, we have helped the Karen Millen, Oasis and Warehouse websites move on to a new ecommerce platform which will allow them to enhance their customer experience further. “At the same time, there have been a number of significant new client wins and expanded services from existing clients who want us to deliver more of their core support. “There is further growth ahead. Our products have proved themselves in retail but they are transferable to hospitality, an industry which is at an earlier stage in its technological evolution – hence hospitality clients are coming to us to make that step.” Besides its support services, Retail Assist has its own software supply chain solution, Merret, which is designed to give clients a single view of stock across high street/online channels. Retail Assist’s CEO, Dan Smith, explained: “We live in an era when the digital revolution continues to transform retail and hospitality industries. Social media is driving rapid turnarounds in trends and the always-on world is fuelling rising customer expectations in terms of the speed and level of service – both in-store or online. “These represent major opportunities for dynamic retail and hospitality…
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