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2020: What a Year! Our Round Up

  • 28th December 2020

Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Lead

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It’s probably fair to say that 2020 didn’t quite turn out how many of us might have predicted… However, that’s not to say that it’s been a quiet year: at Retail Assist, we’ve welcomed new customers, been finalists at several awards and have launched new software.

Here’s our round-up for 2020: it’s been quite a year.

New Customers

This year, we’ve welcomed some new brands to our customer roster. Slater Menswear signed up for Merret Pro, our omnichannel supply chain solution, whilst Laser Clinics UK now receive tech support for their nationwide centres.

Our projects team have also worked with Nottingham City Council to deliver support to local businesses who were looking to re-open after the first national lockdown and we also helped pub company, Hawthorn, to deliver a tender process to choose and implement a new EPOS provider.

As a company that prides itself on the relationship we have with our clients, we’re always delighted when customers want to extend the support they provide. This year, we’ve had several contract renewals, including our partnership with Jigsaw.


To make matters even more exciting, in May we launched our new software offering, OMIO PIM. A product information management solution that’s built by retailers for retailers, it gathers product information in a single source before releasing the data to market, helping retailers to easily launch their products onto new digital markets and unifying head office team workflow, too.

Since launching, womenswear retailers Whistles and Mint Velvet have both signed up to OMIO PIM, with new names in the pipeline.

Laura Boyd, Mint Velvet’s Trading Director, spoke to Drapers about why Mint Velvet decided to sign with OMIO PIM. Laura said: “So what I really, really like about OMIO PIM – and it makes me smile when I think about it now – is that aesthetically it’s the nicest looking product I’ve seen. When something makes you smile when you look at it and when something reminds you of, perhaps, the front end that you use at home when you’re using an Apple Mac or of some of the controls you use on social media, you know that young people are going to absolutely adopt it very easily. It stood out by a mile.

“Now, aesthetics aren’t going to sell a product – you have to make sure it functions as well. So, second to the aesthetics, is an end-to-end solution that’s not ‘just’ a PIM solution. Other PIMs are basically just attribution management systems, but the bit that OMIO PIM does on top is that it’s taken the product and style creation part of the process and that sits in the PIM as well. Other PIMs just were not as end-to-end. What OMIO PIM has is an end-to-end, ready to go, complete product and I honestly can’t think of anything you’d want to add to it that Retail Assist haven’t already thought of.”


It was another great year for awards as Tina Hand, our Head of Systems Support, was confirmed as a finalist at the national Women in Tech Excellence Awards for ‘IT Leader of the Year’. The awards received over 800 nominations and to reach the final was a fantastic reflection of Tina’s hard work, dedication and leadership.

In January, it was announced that our marketing team are finalists for the CIM Marketing Excellence Awards in the category of ‘Marketing Team of The Year’; the awards were due to take place earlier this year but, due to Covid-19 having other plans, the awards night has been postponed to 2021.

Finally, we were so pleased to be finalists for Retail Technology Innovation Hub’s (RTIH) Innovation Awards 2020, being shortlisted for Technology Vendor of the Year (UK) for our in-house built solution, OMIO PIM.

Scott Thompson, Editor and Founder of Retail Technology Innovation Hub, said: “The coronavirus outbreak has shown just how resilient and fast moving the retail industry can be. This is reflected in the shortlist for Technology Vendor of the Year (UK), featuring agile, innovative tech ventures who have performed strongly in challenging times. We were inundated with entries and it was a challenge deciding which ones should make the cut and which would miss out. We were really impressed with the standard of entries, so to make the shortlist is no mean feat.”


Frozen funny faces on Teams calls, “you’re on mute” and jazzy backgrounds… however, this year our colleagues certainly rose to the challenge of moving most of our operations remotely. We loved hearing from various people across the business and the wider industry in our weekly “Working from Home Diaries”. Plus, in June, we welcomed two new directors to our board: Alex Broxson, Chief Marketing Officer, and Kieran Bowden, Chief Commercial Officer. We’ve also welcomed Tony Sherwin, our Head of Technical Services, and Phil Chapman, as our new Business Development Manager.

We’re quite a social bunch and, even though we couldn’t meet up as usual, we couldn’t let a thing like a pandemic get in the way of letting our hair down. Click here to read last week’s blog to see how we’ve celebrated this festive season and, as we approach 2021, we hope there’ll be many opportunities where we can once again meet up with our colleagues and customers alike.

Whatever 2020 has brought you, we wish you all the luck and joy for 2021.

  • 28th December 2020

Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Lead

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