Centric buys Summit Retail, Belgian IT services firm for the retail industry

25 January 2018 Consultancy.eu 3 min. read

Centric has acquired Summit Retail, a Belgian company that provides checkout solutions for the retail market. With the takeover, the Dutch-origin IT services provider extends its market position in the Benelux’s retail technology segment.

Summit Retail has rapidly grown into a well-established player in the IT sector for retail. From its office in Torhout, a city near Bruges, around twenty employees work for retailers and food & beverage companies such as bakers, butchers, fishmongers and fresh market players. "We specialise in conceptualising and creating innovative customer-focused solutions for the retail sector,” said Filip Van Damme, CEO of Summit Retail.

According to Karim Henkens, CEO of Centric,the addition of Summit Retail fits with the firm’s ambition to further expand its position in the European retail market. “IT is crucial for a successful future for retailers. With our knowledge of the industry and technological expertise, we help them make optimum use of the opportunities. We also see the involvement of our employees with our customers at Summit. They fit in well with the Centric DNA and we look forward to welcoming them to our team. With the deal we expand our expertise and we can make even more of a difference for our customers.”

The Summit Retail team will be integrated within the Belgian wing of Centric, which has around 400 employees, working from offices in Oostkamp, Zaventem and Mechelen. Retail is one of the core pillars of Centric Belgium – the company offers a suite of solutions in the sector under the ‘Centric Omnichannel Retail Suite’ label, which connects and integrates the online and offline touch points of retailers, improving customer experience and conversion down the line.Centric buys Summit Retail, Belgian IT services firm for the retail industry

The in-house software developed by Summit Retail is, according to Van Damme, complementary to Centric’s own Omnichannel Retail Suite. “Our solution offers retailers a modular solution platform complementary to that of Centric. Add our retail know-how and the insight into critical business processes that we have built up over the years to this and the match with Centric is complete.”

Van Damme says that joining forces enables both parties to better respond to the changing dynamics in the retail sector. “Consumers demand the best performance and want to be surprised time after time. It forces retailers to continuously optimise their processes and business models. The influence of the consumer is therefore noticeable throughout the chain. In web shops and physical stores, but also in distribution centers, wholesalers and transport companies. Everywhere performance and processes have to be streamlined. One thing is certain: IT is crucial in this transition and optimisation.”

By making optimal use of the possibilities of IT, Centric helps companies with delivering on an end-to-end customer experience: “We strive to offer our customers the best solutions fit, based on innovative total concepts from one single source, for larger retail organisations, as well as small businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Van Damme.

Other services that Centric offers in Belgium include building standard software for markets such as construction and industry, the management and optimisation of systems and infrastructures, and the secondment of IT consultants. The group, which in its latest financial year achieved a turnover of €452 million and an operating result of €20 million, has 4,300 professionals, of which roughly 3,900 are based in the Netherlands.

Earlier this year, Centric Nederland took a 20% stake in Dutch business intelligence specialist VyZyr.