Retail Success

Retail Success From Left Scott Maher and Shannon Maher

Retail Success’ three companies keep independent retailers and franchisors competitive.

By Jim Harris

The ultimate goal of the products and services Retail Success offers to its clients is simple – just look at the company’s name. “We have expertise in several areas that are important to independent retailers’ bottom lines,” says Founding Partner and CEO Scott Maher, who started the company with his brother Shannon in 2005. “We provide products that help them compete in a fast-changing retail world.”

The Maher brothers founded the company in 2005 as National Merchant Alliance (NMA), an electronic payments company. The company provided technology that gave merchants a choice of electronic payment providers while generating revenue for its software partners, Scott Maher says. National Merchant Alliance today processes roughly $3 billion in electronic payments annually.

The brothers’ work with National Merchant Alliance gave them experience with the retail industry as well as point-of-sale systems. This experience led them in 2011 to acquire POSIM Software, a company that dates its roots back in 1986.

POSIM – an acronym for "point of sale inventory management" – was the first POS system available on Apple Macintosh computers. “At the Retail Success Fact Boxtime, we observed that the electronic and point-of-sale spaces were merging, so we wanted to invest in technology that was similar to that provided by the companies we were partnering with,” Maher says.

Today, POSIM is available on both Mac and Windows and supports more than 6,000 customers including franchise organizations, multiple store operations and small owner-operated retailers.

The platform’s features include inventory management, customer tracking and report generation as well as a range of custom point-of-sale functions. “POSIM is a comprehensive software that allows retailers to run a brick-and-mortar store,” Maher adds. “It also integrates with e-commerce functions, so they can sell what they have in their store online.” 

Soon after the acquisition of POSIM, the company rebranded itself as Retail Success, and NMA became one of its brands. In 2014, Retail Success acquired the rights to Boutique Window, a social media and email marketing platform for retailers.

“We thought that was another good fit for us,” Maher notes. “Our focus is to create products that help independent retailers and businesses compete with big boxes.”

“With Boutique Window we help retailers get the word out and drive business to their stores,” he adds. “With POSIM, we help them make data-driven business decisions, and with National Merchant Alliance we help them save money on payment processing fees.”

Support Systems

Retail Success serves a diverse customer base. “We have everyone from quilting stores and fashion boutiques to garbage haulers and heavy equipment rental companies using our services,” Maher says.

The company’s clients include individual franchise businesses as well as large franchisor organizations. The POSIM platform includes a cloud-based franchise management tool franchisors can use to interact with and provide reporting to individual retail sites, he adds.

Boutique Window gives franchisors the ability to create a centralized content library that can be disseminated to all of their stores to maintain brand consistency. “We can provide a customized, yet uniform, solution to a group of retailers,” Maher says.

Retail Success prides itself on being responsive to the needs of all of its customers. “One of our biggest advantages is that we provide a level of support you don’t get from many software companies,” he adds. “When you call us, you’ll talk to a real person, and our franchisor customers have a service rep assigned to them. We have a very close connection to our customers.”

Rapid Growth

Retail Success’ latest product combines the company’s expertise in point-of-sale, payment transactions and marketing/social media.

The company last year launched LUCI, an app-based retail management system for direct sales companies. The system allows users to manager inventory, payments and marketing functions on a single platform.

The release of the LUCI platform has spurred the company to significant growth. In the past year alone, Retail Success has added 30 employees to its staff. “Our revenue growth this year has been phenomenal,” Maher says.

Currently with offices in Salt Lake City and Kansas City, Retail Success will be moving its Kansas City offices to a 22,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in Overland Park, Kan., later this year.

For the Maher brothers, the expansion is the result of years of organic growth for a company that started in a basement with two desks. “We’ve bootstrapped this company from the beginning,” Scott Maher says. 
 
Growing up in rural Iowa on a dairy farm, the Maher brothers learned early on “getting the job done isn’t measured in hours, it is measured in outcome. You stay at it until it is right,” Maher says.
There is a saying that the brothers still reference from their childhood on the farm: “It is always better to lead than push.” 
Back then, it was in reference to how to handle a cow, but the message remains true in almost every aspect of life and permeates through their business methods today.   

 

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