2021 in Review: A Year of Growth and Customer Success Despite Uncertain Times

Dec 17, 2021 4 min

In 2021, our industry confronted the lingering effects of the pandemic and global shifts in retail, but at RELEX, we’re incredibly proud of how we’ve continued to provide measurable value for our customers—new and long-standing—throughout the year.

We’ve welcomed 34 new clients to the RELEX family in the past year, including several exciting relationships that mark our entry into new markets. Grocery retailer Samkaup, for example, marks RELEX’s first customer in Iceland, while established customer DIA Group expanded the partnership into Portugal and Argentina.

We’re proud to be able to say that RELEX now serves 30% of the largest retail companies across the world.

We also continued our momentum in the Australian market with Coles Group and the Middle East with Qatar Duty Free and Majid Al Futtaim. We’re proud to be able to say that RELEX now serves 30% of the largest retail companies across the world.

As we continue to expand into new markets, it’s important to us that we ensure the highest quality of local support possible. That’s why we opened three new offices in 2021: Milan, Italy; Cologne, Germany; and Melbourne, Australia. As a sneak peek into 2022, we’re excited to share that we’ll be opening a new office in Warsaw, Poland, to support our growing base of customers in Eastern Europe.

In the United States, we also saw significant growth, earning the trust of major retail players from Kum & Go and Dollar Tree, Inc to Cost Plus World Market. We also added several notable Europe-based retailers to the RELEX family, including DOUGLAS, Costa Express, M&S Food, Sephora, and many others.

We’re also looking forward to starting projects with several new partners in the exciting, fast-growing arena of quick commerce, including global delivery services Delivery Hero and JOKR and German grocery courier Flink. In fact, JOKR’s VP of Global Supply Chain Jens Kilimann will join me in leading a Big Ideas session at NRF 2022, where we will outline our shared vision for unifying and optimizing their inventory, space, and workforce planning to drive speed and efficiency.

While new customers are exciting, a good indicator of how well we’re serving our existing customers is how many of them have chosen to extend their relationships with us in the last year. Party City Holdings, Inc., for example, expanded from retail supply chain optimization alone to a vertically integrated project that includes their wholesale and manufacturing arms. And both PetSmart and Booths expanded their use of our supply chain solution to include RELEX’s markdown optimization capabilities.

We’re also always excited when customers realize their vision for unified retail planning, like the way Family Farm & Home and others did or take their planning to the next level with machine learning, like One Stop.

From our expansions with Coop Denmark to Baby Bunting, we’re thrilled every time a customer chooses to continue their relationship with us.

From our expansions with Coop Denmark to Baby Bunting, we’re thrilled every time a customer chooses to continue their relationship with us. I believe it’s because our customers recognize how hard we work to continue driving measurable value. This year, we developed several case studies that detail incredible success stories from Migros Online, DOUGLAS, The Vitamin Shoppe, Franprix, and Ametller Origen Group.

We strive to lead the industry in thought leadership as well, so I’m proud of the resources we’ve published in 2021 that share our expertise and insights on challenges from retail sales & operations execution to how retailers can increase sales and profitability through the use of automated, store-specific planograms. We also published an extensive guide to help DIY retailers master challenges specific to the DIY supply chain.

RELEX’s success throughout the year has led to both nominations and wins for several awards in 2021. For the fourth year in a row, we were recognized as an industry leader by the RIS Software LeaderBoard, placing in the Top 10 in over 30 categories and the Top 5 in 24 categories. We were thrilled as well to be shortlisted with our customer Franprix for the ROIs de la Supply Chain, which recognized our joint innovation in their supply chain initiative.

We’ve finished the year off strong by being named a finalist for six Vendor In Partnership (VIP) Awards, sponsored by NRF 2022, one of the largest retail events in the world. These awards include Partner of the Year, The VIP Challenge Award, Best Fulfillment Advancement, and more.

And finally, it was a nice surprise to receive the Internationalisation Award of the President of the Republic of Finland this year for bringing measurable value as a global company—something I’m proud of as the CEO of a Finnish company.

I’m proud of both our customers and our team at RELEX for what we’ve been able to achieve together despite the continued strain from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Award recognition is always nice, but I’m even more excited about the happiness and success stories we’ve seen from our customers during this difficult year. I’m proud of both our customers and our team at RELEX for what we’ve been able to achieve together despite the continued strain from the COVID-19 pandemic. We always aim to treat the customer as a friend and provide measurable value, and I think the success our customers have found around the globe proves our continued dedication to staying true to those core values. I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish in 2022.

Written by

Mikko Kärkkäinen

Mikko Kärkkäinen

Co-founder & Group Chief Executive Officer