A west of Ireland based retail management systems company has signed major new contracts in the UK and Ireland, worth well in excess of €2million. Retail Solutions, based in Tuam, Co Galway – and with offices strategically located across the country – has already much of the Irish market sewn up and has plans to branch into South Africa this year.
Here at home, the company currently has systems operating in approximately 900 sites nationwide and has now won the national contracts for Shaws and the Axium Buying Group. The contracts combined are valued at €900,000 over the next five years.
In 2013, Shaws approached Retail Solutions to design a retail management solutions programme to meet their specifications. The team obviously impressed because they have been awarded the contract for the entire business – 17 stores nationwide, as well as Head Office.
The Axium Group – a buying group for 60 pharmacies in Ireland – also contacted Retail Solutions to develop a new system for the company. The system is being rolled out at present and all sites will be running on the same system by the end of January. Furthermore, there is potential for a larger contract, with plans in place for up to 100 sites by the end of 2014, in line with the Axium Group’s growth plan.
Meanwhile in the UK, Retail Solutions has won the contracts for two major retail groups – CJ Lang & Sons and European Food Brokers (EFB ) – totalling over 300 sites across the UK. The value of these contracts over the next five years will total £1m (approx €1.18m ) and will lead to an increase of 20 per cent in the company’s workforce, with Retail Solutions looking at opening offices in the UK in the coming months.
CJ Lang and Son Limited have been based in Dundee since 1919 and are Scotland’s largest independent retailing and distribution company. They are a master Spar franchise holder with over 300 supermarkets and are responsible for a large share of the Scottish Independent market.
Graham Murdock from CJ Lang and Son Limited says the company is delighted to be working with Retail Solutions.
“In our view, Retail Solutions have the most complete EPOS solution for our type of Convenience Store Operation. Apart from the system, we have a huge amount of confidence in the people. The Retail Solutions Team have excellent retail knowledge and are extremely responsive and helpful,” he said.
“It is still early days in what we hope will be a very long lasting partnership, but Retail Solutions are one of the best system providers we have ever worked with,” added Mr Murdock.
In addition to the new contracts both here at home and in the UK, Retail Solutions was first signed onto the Recommended Suppliers List 10 years ago for Londis in Ireland, followed by Gala and then the Barry’s Group (the umbrella company for Costcutters, Quick Pick, Buy Lo and the Carry Out off-licences ).
At present, Retail Solutions has the contract for all Carry Out and Buy Lo stores; 95 per cent of Costcutters and Londis stores; and approximately 75 per cent of Gala stores in Ireland.
The company started out as point-of-sale providers, providing the hardware and software to businesses. Now, they offer full tailor-made retail management systems, catering for all aspects of a business – cash control, stock control, security, accounts packages, camera systems, self-scanning checkouts, deli systems, iPad Apps and marketing.
While Retail Solutions has developed substantially since its establishment, it continues to supply to all sizes of businesses – from an individual store with one till to the recently-awarded contract with Shaws; a company with approximately 200 tills linked to Head Office.
Retail Solutions also provides optional software updates/management agreements to businesses, as well as providing full back-up systems in the event of theft/damage.
Through a reseller/distributor system, Retail Solutions has also begun to tap in to the Australian market. The company has systems in approximately 50 sites in Australia, with at least one additional system being installed each week.
The company, which now employs 30 people in Ireland, is planning a launch into the market in South Africa in early 2014, with negotiations currently underway and plans to open an office there in the coming months.
While the Irish market remains the number one priority for the company, there is massive potential for further expansion in the UK and the company intends to fully explore this potential in early 2014.
Retail Solutions was established in 1995 by Chris O’Neill and Seamus Quinn, who were both coming from a background in retail IT. Initially, the company was buying in third-party software but soon figured out they could do better by developing custom-made packages to best suit the needs of a particular business.
In 2001/2002, Retail Solutions developed their own flexible software packages, priding themselves on tailoring their packages to meet the specific needs of individual customers.
Based in Head Office in Tuam, Jarlath Hennelly is GM of the company, with Chris O’Neill as Sales Director and Seamus Quinn as Technical Director.