NetSuite Acquisition Opens Retail Doors For Channel Partners

NetSuite announced the acquisition of privately held Retail Anywhere Thursday morning but did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

The move means that NetSuite can begin offering its channel partners an expanded opportunity to sell to retail customers, said Andy Lloyd, NetSuite general manager of commerce products, in an interview. He said the company also would be recruiting new channel partners that specialize in the retail space.

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NetSuite recently worked with Retail Anywhere to provide the two companies' applications to a multibillion-dollar U.S. retailer. Lloyd said the experience "really opened everyone's eyes at NetSuite" about the potential opportunities of the combined product lines.

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"There is a massive opportunity to take this solution to midsize retailers," Lloyd said, specifically citing midsize retailers with between five and 500 stores.

Retail Anywhere, a 28-year-old company based in Paso Robles, Calif., re-released its applications last year after redeveloping them to run on the NetSuite platform, Lloyd said. The company was a member of the NetSuite SuiteCloud Developer Network.

While the Retail Anywhere applications already are integrated with NetSuite's e-commerce applications, Lloyd said the company would continue to tighten those links. NetSuite also will build more functionality into its back-end applications, such as its product assortment planning software, to support the Retail Anywhere applications.

NetSuite will continue to support the Retail Anywhere applications on older platforms, Lloyd said.

The combined product line can help retailers better coordinate their online and brick-and-mortar sales operations, such as allowing customers to order a product online but pick it up at a nearby store. That's proven to be a challenge for many retailers, Lloyd said.

Retail Anywhere has worked with NetSuite VARs on deals in the past and Lloyd expects the pace of such collaborations to accelerate following the acquisition. While close to 500 retailers of all types can use the Retail Anywhere applications, Lloyd noted that the retail industry is very diverse.

"Selling apparel is very different from selling light bulbs," he said. That's where the channel comes in, offering expertise needed to work with different kinds of retailers. "There are lots of different roles partners can play."

NetSuite will retain most Retail Anywhere employees, Lloyd said. Retail Anywhere CEO Brandon Jenkins has been named NetSuite's general manager of etail/retail products and will lead the company's efforts in the retail space. Retail Anywhere COO Josh Goodwin will become NetSuite's head of product management for the retail industry.