ACCEO enhances ability to service larger retail chains with Gemmar Systems acquisition

ACCEO continues its drive into the retail space, following up its June acquisition of Multipost with a larger deal in which they acquire GSI, which has many large retail chain clients, and whose solutions are targeted to that larger type of chain retailer.

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Gilles Létourneau, ACCEO’s president and CEO

Montréal-based ACCEO Solutions, which is aggressively expanding its presence through acquisition this year across both Canada and the United States, has made another significant deal in the retail space. ACCEO has acquired the assets of Gemmar Systems International (GSI), a Dorval PQ-based solution provider which designs and implements retail management software, and which is focused on small-to midsize specialty retail chains.

ACCEO originally was an integrator of accounting and financial software, but has expanded its solutions and consulting operations to include the payment industry, the travel industry, manufacturing and retail. Its’ most recent acquisition, Quebec City-based Julo, which was purchased two weeks ago, is in the recreation management space. However, Markham ON-based Multipost, acquired a month ago, is in retail, making point-of-sale (POS) solutions for smaller stores, particularly in the hardware industry.

“We want to grow in the retail stores,” said Gilles Létourneau, ACCEO’s president and CEO. “These two retail acquisitions are a good start, but there’s much more room to grow.”

While GSI is in the same sector as Multipost, they serve a different type of retailer, and Létourneau said that the GSI deal is a more significant acquisition for them.

“GSI makes a suite of solutions for managing retail stores, but they are bigger solutions which support a much larger number of stores,” he said. “Multipost serves smaller retailers with 1-3 POS systems. GSI serves big chains of retailers, companies like La Vie en Rose, Running Room, and Bombay. These are companies that have 200 stores or more.”

GSI has a large number of such clients, with an installed base of hundreds of retail chains and thousands of POS. In addition, they have e-commerce solutions that interconnect with the Magento e-commerce platform, as well as relationship marketing tools like loyalty programs, gift cards, and promotional systems.

“Their presence in Canada is fully national because of the kind of large chains that they serve, but they also have a significant business in the U.S., where they are actually growing faster,” Létourneau said. “Between 20 and 22 per cent of their revenues come from the U.S. market. They have the same kind of customers there, although the brands are different.”

As was the case with the Multipost acquisition, ACCEO expects to see strong synergies from the GSI deal, not just in providing new solutions to sell, but in providing a market for ACCEO’s existing solutions.

“They use back end accounting systems, where we are very big,” Létourneau said. “We may add other modules we already own to their solution. They don’t have their own ERP system for accounting, for example, which we have.”

Létourneau indicated that ACCEO’s flurry of acquisitions is not yet complete.

“We have already started another acquisition that will be done in September or October of this year, and there are some other targets that we have, that are not at that same level of advancement yet,” he said. “Look for us to have one or two new acquisitions completed by December 2015.”