June 15, 2016

Speed Commerce acquired by Garrison Investment Group for $150 million

Company's new executives plan expansion in e-commerce fulfillment sector over next five years.

By Ben Ames

E-commerce fulfillment company Speed Commerce Operating Company LLC said today it has been acquired by investment firm Garrison Investment Group LP, a move that will allow Dallas-based Speed to expand its warehouse capabilities and hire hundreds of workers.

New York-based Garrison took over Speed Commerce after supplying $20 million in capital and converting $130 million of Speed Commerce' debt into equity, new CEO Hari Pillai said in a phone interview.

Speed Commerce's other new leaders include COO Jyoti Kapoor and CFO Jochen Vogt. Together, the team intends to expand the company quickly over the next three to five years through a combination of internal growth, corporate acquisitions, and adding 300 to 600 new workers to its current employee base of 1,500 people, Pillai said.

Speed Commerce serves customers such as Lowe's, clothing retailer Justice, and Toys R Us with services including order and inventory management; pick, pack, and ship; freight management; returns processing; 24/7 customer care; and e-commerce website management. The company now operates 1.8 million square feet of warehouse space at five distribution centers in Texas, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and plans to grow.

"I would look to see us expand our footprint," Pillai said. "We're probably missing the most capability along the West Coast, and we want to increase our density along the East Coast as we look to shorter transit times and shorter drop times."

Speed Commerce operates its own DCs and contracts with carriers including Atlanta-based UPS Inc., Plantation, Fla.-based DHL Express, and Memphis-based FedEx Corp. for last-mile delivery in the U.S. and internationally. That network allows Speed Commerce to reach 80 percent of the U.S. population with one-day truck delivery, Pillai said.

Speed Commerce will hire employees in every area of business, including warehousing, call centers, website information technology and engineering, finance, and sales. That aggressive growth plan will allow Speed Commerce to add new customers in the e-commerce market despite stiff competition from online retail giant Amazon.com Inc., Pillai said.

"We differentiate ourselves on service," Pillai said. "Our niche is serving customers who want to keep greater control of their brand name. And at the end of the day, just because they're Amazon and they're big, our customers are not going to walk across the street and join them instead of us."

About the Author

Ben Ames
Senior Editor
Ben Ames has spent 20 years as a journalist since starting out as a daily newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania in 1995. From 1999 forward, he has focused on business and technology reporting for a number of trade journals, beginning when he joined Design News and Modern Materials Handling magazines. Ames is author of the trail guide "Hiking Massachusetts" and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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