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RELEX Solutions Acquires Athena Retail to Amplify Space and Category Management Expertise

May 24, 2022 2 min

RELEX Solutions announced today it has acquired Athena Retail, building upon its position as a trusted provider of unified retail planning solutions. The acquisition signals RELEX’s commitment to offering best-in-class space planning solutions for retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies across the globe. 

Operating since the year 2000 (under the name gCS) as an Italian consultancy company and integration partner with expertise in optimizing category management planning and execution, Athena Retail took its current name in 2011. Since then, the company has helped dozens of retailers and manufacturers in Europe and the Middle East to enhance their category management processes leading to increased sales and more efficient operations. Athena Retail will continue to operate independently, serving their existing customers while providing RELEX retail and manufacturing customers with space solution implementation and expertise.

This acquisition reflects RELEX’s continued commitment and investment in offering market-leading solutions in space planning and optimization. RELEX sees tremendous potential for retailers to improve their space and category management systems, especially as more companies embrace omnichannel business models. 

RELEX understands that space plans are much more than a visual tool used to create attractive shelf displays. Fully optimized planograms and floor plans offer retailers benefits including improved store productivity with less time spent on stocking shelves and improved inventory turnover, all of which lead to cost savings and increased sales. Outdated legacy systems lack the capabilities of cloud-based, machine learning systems, helping retailers ensure accuracy and efficiency in their replenishment operations.

This acquisition comes on the heels of RELEX’s €5B valuation and a €500M funding round led by Blackstone Growth (BXG), Blackstone’s growth equity investing business. Earlier this month, RELEX also acquired Formulate, a Swedish promotion planning and analytics company. These acquisitions are a clear signal of RELEX’s commitment to offering best-in-class, wall-to-wall solutions for retailers and CPG companies around the globe. 

“We’re thrilled to partner with a solutions provider who is as committed to helping retailers and brands maximize the productivity of their sales space as we are,” said Paolo Malucelli, founder and CEO of Athena Retail. “We believe that unified planning is the future of retail. Space planning is important, but companies attain the most impactful results when merchandising, supply chain, and operations are optimized together in a unified platform, like RELEX.”

“RELEX and Athena Retail is an ideal partnership. This acquisition will help us on our mission to become world leaders in space planning and to strengthen our expertise, all while fostering stronger relationships with our customers. We see space planning and category management as areas of tremendous potential impact for a retail industry trying to find a new balance between online, in-store, and hybrid omnichannel experiences. RELEX is committed to continuous innovation in this area, ensuring our customers see an even greater return on investment with our unified space solutions,” said Mikko Kärkkäinen, RELEX’s Group CEO.