Leading private brand specialist Solutions for Retail Brands (S4RB) has secured a major capital boost from private equity investment manager Foresight Group.
S4RB, a cloud-based software and professional services company, received a seven-figure sum which will enable it to develop the business further and increase its share of the growing North American private brand market.
The firm, whose head office is in Nottingham, has seen consistent double-digit growth for a number of years, and works with some of the world’s top retailers, including Asda and Waitrose in the UK and Walmart in the US.
A pioneer of the introduction of a Unified Brand Experience (UBX) to drive private brand product performance, S4RB creates and manages solutions that allow private brand retailers to work as ‘one team’ with their suppliers. This allows them to manage quality, compliance and innovation, which in turn improves customer experience.
Explaining how the investment from Foresight will be used, S4RB’s managing director James Butcher said:
“Following a strong couple of years, the purpose of this funding is to invest further in our products, in particular accelerating our data analytics capabilities and also expanding our presence in North America.
“UBX Cloud Services gives private brand teams rapid access to fact-based and relevant information about products and suppliers, giving quality and depth to their interactions. As a result, customer experience is enhanced so they feel more respected, involved and better served.
“This investment will enable S4RB to further accelerate enhancements to UBX and predictive analytics, providing deeper insights and automatic notifications to retail brand teams and their suppliers, allowing them to respond quicker for customers.”
Currently, the UK has a strong private brand market, with own brand products making up 40 per cent of retail sales. The US market has not yet reached this level, however it is starting to increase with Walmart seeing around 15 per cent growth across its private brands outside of the UK.
“We already have a strong presence in North America, and this investment will allow us to work more closely with these customers, helping them to increase engagement with suppliers and achieve their goals more rapidly – whether this is improving product quality, development or for specific initiatives such as sugar and salt reduction.
“As we look to expand our international market share, we are really excited about the future of S4RB and our partnership with Foresight.”
Founded 10 years ago, S4RB first launched its supplierENGAGE™ software to help retailers increase engagement with suppliers, and boost efficiency for both. With funding from the N’Tech Nottingham Technology Fund and Creative England, it launched UBX Cloud Services at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco in 2014.
Earlier this year, the company was recognised for its work in the international market when it won the Chamber of Commerce award for Excellence in International Trade.