For years, brand manufacturers like VF Outdoor Inc.—with such popular labels as The North Face outdoor apparel, JanSport backpacks and Vans footwear—have opted for a mix of e-commerce technology platforms from PlumRiver LLC and CenterStone Technologies to wholesale their products online to retailers.
Now, brand companies will be able to get both platforms from PlumRiver, under plans it announced today to acquire its rival and combine it with PlumRiver Technologies. PlumRiver didn’t say what it expects to pay for CenterStone, but said it plans to “retain nearly all CenterStone personnel,” including its global technology support team, and continue to support CenterStone’s IVendix online wholesale platform.
But PlumRiver indicated that it expects CenterStone’s clients to eventually migrate to PlumRiver’s Elastic online wholesale platform “based on their business needs and the preferences of their retail partners.” The IVendix and Elastic platforms are each available under the SaaS business model, under which clients subscribe to access it over the internet.
Whit Johnson, a principal at PlumRiver, says the two companies are focused on providing product data in a standardized format for some 86,000 retail buyers and dealers who use their technology platforms to order products. “Buyer-mandated standardization, developed to meet the needs of retailer procurement managers, is now happening by bringing the best of CenterStone together with PlumRiver and our innovative Elastic platform,” he says.
“Joining forces with PlumRiver and their Elastic platform is a very positive development for CenterStone and our clients,” says Tom Detmer, CEO of CenterStone. “Offering Elastic to our entire manufacturing client base, and providing associated retailers with their preferred product procurement solution, will result in stronger and more profitable e-commerce relationships between buyers and suppliers.” Detmer plans to remain through the transition, but then is likely to focus on his work as a board member of Yellowstone Forever, the education element of Yellowstone National Park, according to Cherish Edwards, CenterStone’s director of marketing and communications.
VF Outdoor is an example of a manufacturer that has already traded a technology strategy that had deployed wholesale e-commerce platforms from both PlumRiver and CenterStone, as well as VF’s own in-house technology, to operate wholesale e-commerce sites for its multiple brands. PlumRiver doesn’t make its pricing publicly available, but
VF said it cost about $1 million to deploy it for eight of its brands in 2016.
Casual footwear brand manufacturer Crocs Inc. launched PlumRiver’s technology last year to sell online to retailers.
Other apparel and accessories brands that use PlumRiver and CenterStone technology include Icebreaker, Patagonia, Timberland, Spyder, Carhartt, Smartwool and CamelBak.
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