Retailers are going bankrupt at a record pace according to a recent Bloomberg article. Much of the threat to established brick and mortar stores can be attributed to the rise of ecommerce and lack of technological innovation on the part of these brands. Enter Concrete, a SaaS platform that enables communication between head offices and individual branches within the retail chain. With the threat of the internet further eroding the retail landscape, providing a cohesive and consistent experience across all retail locations is of utmost importance and this often gets lost in the communication. With the Concrete SaaS platform, organizational communication is seamless, integrated, clear, and transparent. Already trusted by large brands including Gap, J Crew and Kate Spade, the platform is versatile enough to handle any type of retailer – large and small.
AlleyWatch chatted with Ned Gammel about the Startup and how it made the shift from the UK to NYC.
Tell us about your product.
Concrete is SaaS business that provides large and small retail brands with an app to track, manage, and measure all communication and activity from head office teams out to their field teams and stores. Proved and tested within some of the world’s largest brands, Concrete gives retailers a way to increase, consistency, compliance and effectiveness at store level. In what is a crunch time for retailers, Concrete has meant that retailers who are both scaling up and down have been able to increase sales with less resource and improve the customer experience at the same time.
How is it different?
We have enterprise relationships with some of the largest retail brands in the world including Gap, J Crew, Marks & Spencer, Tiffany & Co. among others.
We provide store associates with an app that is easy to use and understand – like any social app – and we provide corporate teams with an enterprise grade solution that can handle the most complex retail / store footprint or the simplest. That combination is not available anywhere else in the marketplace and it is the product of many years experience of working with global retailers.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Concrete is focued purely on retail – any business that has a physical point of sale. We can service apparel, cosmetics, jewelry, hospitality, food and beverage, to name a few.
Concrete offers annual and multi-year subscriptions on a per user or per store basis.
What inspired the business?
Concrete was born out of the desire to solve a problem in a way that no-one else was solving.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
Over the next month we plan to expand the team and bring on an excellent Account Manager to look after our US side of the business. We also plan to build out our sales team with top notch New Business Account Execs.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Everyone is winging it.
Why did you launch in New York?
First, as a UK originating company, we brought on a number of New York-based brands that we wanted to be closer to in order to provide a better service (e.g. Kate Spade, Gap, American Eagle, and others.) Second, we saw a huge opportunity in the US that we wanted to capitalize on.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
Malatesta in the West Village.