Under-pressure Torex eyes move into BI and beyond

Retail systems specialist Torex is planning reform under its new owners with the aim of becoming an end-to-end retail systems supplier. It wants to double in size in three years by selling organisations a wider range of products more effectively.

Share

Retail systems specialist Torex is planning reform under its new owners with the aim of becoming an end-to-end retail systems supplier. It wants to double in size in three years by selling organisations a wider range of products more effectively.

The company, which was bought in June from Torex Retail Holdings by private equity firm Cerberus, is most well known as an electronic point of sale (Epos) supplier, but is now targeting sales of more expansive systems.

It wants to sell a broader product range to its key retail and hospitality verticals, including business intelligence systems, planning tools, supply chain management and workforce management. It has also brought all its developers into one team to reduce duplication, and is consolidating the offices of different divisions gained through acquisition.

Employees from the previous company, Torex Retail, are still being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office for financial irregularities. Torex said it had not lost customers during the process but was nevertheless keen to improve its offering to them.

“It has been difficult for customers, and at times Torex wasn’t paying its bills,” said Graeme Cooksley, the firm’s new chief operating officer. “But our customers want to know we’re financially viable, so after buying the business we injected £30m of capital. They want to know we have a product strategy and that we’re going to offer them longevity by supporting their applications for as long as they use them.

“I think they are a lot more comfortable now.”

Torex’s extensive UK customer list includes Spar, Hamleys, WHSmith and Burger King, and its clients process 45% of all UK retail sales by value. The company competes against retail specialists such as Micros and Radiant, but also larger software makers with a retail array such as SAP and Oracle’s Retek division.

The vendor is determined that its product array will keep it strongly positioned among clients, and is making a concerted push to upsell advanced software to them. But Epos remained “the valuable part, where all the data comes from”, Cooksley said.

A major aim is to sell the tools that help retailers measure customer loyalty, especially business intelligence. Cooksley said: “Retailers want to know exactly what a customer does and likes when he or she comes through the door. Understanding the customer’s spending habits, and maximising how they spend, is the key.”

Find your next job with computerworld UK jobs