Over two decades ago, Walk with Ronsons was consumed with the challenge of growing from one store to two. It was at this critical juncture that they hooked up with Aralco; there was no question that the company needed help coping with the new challenges associated with rapid business growth.
Now with 19 locations, the shoe retailer is more reliant than ever on Aralco’s technology. In fact, Walk with Ronsons has built their business around Aralco POS and retail inventory management software systems.
“Business growth is a great problem to have,” says General Manager Tony Aronson. “However, it is really not easy taking that first big leap. We needed to grow without compromising customer service. Aralco helped us do that.”
Stability and ease of use are the major selling points of the Aralco system, according to Tony.
“To be effective, a system has to be easy to use,” explains Tony. “When we hire 18 or 19 year olds, they are familiar with computers, so they don’t require much training. However, we also have older staff. It’s important that they are comfortable using our system.”
Reliability is also critical. “One of the best things about working with Aralco is that we don’t have to worry about the system going down,” says Tony.
Aralco’s very first customer, Walk with Ronsons is still a dedicated Aralco POS Software System user. “We have basically built ourselves around the POS software system” says Tony. “We couldn’t have made the leap to a second store and kept growing without Aralco.”
The POS software system helps Walk with Ronsons manage their many stores in the following ways:
“If we ever need anything, I just call Aralco,” says Tony.
“Our biggest challenge is staffing and building teams,” he adds. “Having a reliable system allows us to focus our time on the people who make our business successful—our staff and customers.”
About Walk with Ronsons
Thriving in the retail business for over two decades, Walk with Ronsons has built a reputation for exceptional customer service. “We sell service,” explains Tony. “We simply use shoes to do it.” This philosophy has allowed Walk with Ronsons to grow from one store to nineteen and maintain a loyal customer base. “If polishing shoes or replacing laces means that the customer will walk away satisfied, we will do it,” says Tony. “Our entire company is dedicated to service – nothing else.”
CF Interiors brought me into the company during a transition period to help implement and develop Aralco to work with their systems. Their previous system lacked the report capabilities and flexibilities needed for CF Interiors to continue growing. Since I started working and learning about Aralco I have found the system incredibly flexible. The way a custom furniture company runs is very complex since we offer our customers so many options our SKUs would reach 13,000,000 and we have been quite demanding with Aralco on specific options we require. Where they have not had options or work-arounds they have always been so gracious in providing us with alternative options.
Their customer support is the best I’ve seen in business software. Always friendly and fast to respond, especially in the odd times we have made errors that caused store panic.
I would recommend Aralco to any growing business that requires options. It’s seriously flexible and their company will work with you without breaking your budgets.
Cameron Fraser | Operations Manager
At Cantu, we offer a very wide selection of products from all over the world. Our customers’ projects can stretch over a long period of time. This means complicated sales orders. Aralco covers all that. It is a powerful program written over a long time by different programmers and the support team is very helpful, friendly, and quick to respond.
Aralco has been our software provider since 1990. We have forged a really close relationship over the years. We have gone through many changes and upgrades together. Some of those were brought by outside forces, some were requested by Cantu to help with inventory control and customer service. I really like this company’s straightforward philosophy: everything is possible; all it takes is time and money. Since they write programs themselves, they can customize it to suit your particular needs and requirements.
I would recommend Aralco to any retail business, whether they are new or just looking for a change.
Krystyna Pacocha | Cantu Bathrooms and; Hardware Ltd. Vancouver, BC, Canada
We just recently implemented the Aralco POS and BOS modules in July of 2014 and were up and running with a production system in about 4 weeks from the date we signed our contract. We had no POS system whatsoever to replace so our starting point was literally ground zero. The Aralco project management team helped us every step of the way providing us with everything from data cleansing to report creation to in-store training.
We have stores in both the United States and Canada and all 5 stores use the system as well as our head office/warehouse and manufacturing facility. The Aralco POS and BOS modules have provided us with a needed tool to control inventory, manage customer demand and get control of our costs and profitability.
The POS system provided by Aralco that we use in our store is so user-friendly and efficient that we allocated 3 days of on-site training but only used one-half day to get the staff up to speed. The real cost to implement is minimal due to the fact that the systems are built for users – not programmers. Even the most technically challenged users can be operating efficiently in a matter of hours not days.
We were promised support from the Aralco team to ensure our success – the commitment/service and advice provided by the dedicated support team exceeded our expectations.
We can now plan to expand knowing that our system is on solid ground. I would recommend Aralco to any small- to medium- sized retailer who is looking for a solution that will deliver immediate results.
Chief Operating Officer
Moe Samieian has been in the home beautification market for over 20 years! While searching the world for beautiful area rugs, he was struck by how many other beautiful pieces of furniture and home accessories he would come across. So, instead of just decorating floors he decided to take on whole rooms! This was how Moe’s Home Collection Stores were born.
You’ll find two Moe’s Home Collection Stores in Vancouver, BC with another store set to open in Seattle, Washington in April of 2006. Any visitor to their stores will be rewarded with a selection of exquisite pieces including armoires, dining tables, sofas and sleek leather chairs. Moe’s emphasis is on bold, simple pieces with chunky design elements that will inspire journeys and invite admirers to imagine their faraway origins.
Moe’s is a relatively new customer of Aralco having installed Aralco’s POS and Back Office systems in June of 2006. Aralco is also installed in their consolidation centre in China.
According to Sara Samieian of Moe’s “We had been working with a horrible system for two years and enough was enough! The software lacked functionality and they came out with upgrades almost weekly. When we tried to download these upgrades our system would crash! Their technical support was a disaster; it was difficult to get a support person that knew what they were talking about let alone one that would call you back promptly.”
Once they decided to make a change they asked retail colleagues in the U.S. for recommendations of good software suppliers. Surprisingly, no go suggestions were provided. Sara clarifies, “Either people weren’t happy with what they had installed or they had cobbled together their own in-house systems. Only one or two retailers got back to us saying that they were happy with their POS and back office software provider but we found those solutions to be ridiculously expensive!”
That left Moe’s on their own to find some suitable software packages to consider. They came across Aralco Retail Systems and set up a demonstration.
‘When you’ve worked with a disastrous package you’ve very well equipped to articulate what you MUST have in a new package. We had a long list of requirements of any new system we would consider’ says Sara. ‘Aralco had no problem delivering on every need and even offered features we didn’t know existed.”
“We are delighted with Aralco. Their support and training has been exceptional. They are prompt, professional and we love the fact that they can log onto our systems when necessary to fix problems”.
‘Training staff on the new system was virtually pain free. Aralco offers video training which we found very helpful. We requested that our staff watch the videos and organized one on-site staff training day. After that we were off to the races. Sure, there are the odd questions but I can usually answer them myself.”
When Sara was asked to pick the best feature of Aralco she didn’t hesitate, “The reporting capabilities of Aralco, hands down, is the best feature in my mind. They have lots of standard reports but it’s the ability to create custom reports easily and quickly that really impresses me.”
Moe’s Home Collection was named Vancouver’s Best Independent Furniture Store for a third consecutive year in 2015 by the readers of Vancouver lifestyle and entertainment newspaper The Georgia Strait.
We encourage you to check out Moe’s Home Collection website at Moeshomes.ca
A British Columbia landmark since 1961, Kerrisdale Cameras, with 8 stores across Vancouver and Victoria, is a photographer’s dream. With everything photo related from the latest digital cameras to the widest selection of used lenses, it is also an accountant’s biggest headache. Using Aralco Retail Systems’ point of sale and back office software has really helped bring order to the chaos! Since 1990, Kerrisdale Cameras has relied on the program to manage the store inventory, keep track of photo developing, and provide accurate information to their accounting department.
Joining Kerrisdale Cameras, after having worked at Visions, one of Western Canada’s largest electronics retailers, Ms. Turnbull, the company’s office manager, was impressed with Aralco’s point of sale and inventory management system. “It surprised me to see how advanced their system was. The features in the program were right on par with software that Visions used in their stores, and sometimes even better!” she said. To be compared so favorably to a custom designed program for a large company is quite a testimonial to the power and scope of Aralco’s software development.
After coming to Kerrisdale Cameras, Ms. Turnbull discovered that the company had a unique method of dealing with the costing on their inventory. Unlike other consumer goods, cameras and other electronic items pose a dilemma to retailers because as newer models with more features and lower prices are introduced, the higher-cost older products become more difficult to sell. Manufacturers try to help retailers by providing rebates on the older items remaining in inventory. The question then arises: now that the cost has been effectively reduced, can the average cost still be accurate? The staff at Aralco worked very closely with Kerrisdale Cameras to come up with a method of dealing with this challenging situation. The program was modified to provide for this, and the software is now able to support camera and electronics retailers with ease.
The staff has found learning and using the system very user-friendly. The program is so full of features that Ms. Turnbull feels that, in the day-to-day operations, she only uses a fraction of what it is capable of. The drill-down inventory lookup has not only saved Ms. Turnbull a great deal of time, but provides all the employees with valuable data at the touch of a button. “I think we all wish there was more time in the day to spend time learning about what else the program can do. But there’s no denying the amount of time the software saves” said Ms. Turnbull.
The company management especially appreciates the real-time information the Aralco system provides. We are getting the data that we need from Aralco to run our business.
Everyone at Kerrisdale appreciates the support they receive from Aralco. They talk with enthusiasm about the staff at Aralco, particularly the speedy response time to their calls. “Although they are not a hardware company,” Ms. Turnbull explained, “they still go out of their way to help, even for our hardware crashes. Even when our problems with our system had nothing to do with the program, the support staff really makes an effort to find a solution. I would definitely recommend Aralco Retail Systems to any business looking for a feature-rich point of sale and inventory control software. It’s a positive addition to any retail environment”.
About Kerrisdale Cameras
Founded in 1961, Kerrisdale Cameras has 8 stores in Greater Vancouver and Victoria in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. They are a family owned and operated, full-line photographic retailer committed to providing the best selection and service in Western Canada.
The Audain Art Museum, Canada’s newest museum located in Whistler, British Columbia has opened to incredible success with thousands of visitors in our first few weeks.
Aralco has enabled us to activate our Point of Sale system easily and effectively enabling us to handle large volumes of business in a short amount of time efficiently.
The easy-to-use interface has been adopted quickly by our front of house staff and is a powerful tool for data analysis and member management.
We highly recommend Aralco for your organization!
Sarah Bainbridge | Director of Development | Audain Art Museum, Whistler, BC
The Audain Art Museum site is located on Blackcomb Way adjacent to Whistler Village. Designed by Patkau Architects, the 56,000 square foot building is Canada’s newest Class A art museum and one of Western Canada’s largest.
Officially opened on March 12, 2016, the museum houses a large portion of the personal art collection that Michael Audain and his wife Yoshiko Karasawa have amassed over the past 40 years. Their worldclass Northwest Coast art collection is on permanent display, plus there are galleries for temporary exhibitions of Canadian and international art. Open year round, the museum is an attraction for Whistler’s 10,000 residents and the 2.7 million annual visitors to the four-season mountain resort.
When Diane’s Lingerie came to Aralco in 1998, they knew they needed a software system to accommodate their rapid growth. This small, local store had grown by 50% in just a few years, quite a feat in the complex and ever-changing world of retail where trends come and go.
Since opening the store 15 years earlier, Diane’s Lingerie had been handwriting their bills – a practice that was impossible to maintain with their remarkable increase in sales. Diane’s was also quick to realize that the retail world wouldn’t stand still.
“Retail has changed a lot with the introduction of the Internet,” says Lynda Barr, Operations Manager. “Customers often search for what they want online and compare prices, so it’s critical to stay on top of customers’ needs by making sure the right products are in stock, otherwise, they will go to a competitor.”
After shopping around and carefully considering their options, Diane’s Lingerie chose Aralco for several reasons:
-Aralco has an excellent track record.
-They offer individual attention that other companies do not.
-They could offer a system that suited Diane’s Lingerie’s inventory management needs, including a size grid.
Given the volume and variety of stock, this is essential for a lingerie store. For example, just one style of bra comes in several colours and sizes, which amounts to over 7,500 bras in-stock, and this is just one of the many items that Diane’s carries.
Today, Diane’s Lingerie relies on Aralco. “It’s easy to work in your business, not on your business,” says Lynda. “Aralco helped us to look beyond our own borders to see our business in a different, more objective way.”
Diane’s Lingerie now has a system that allows them to keep up with their growth in sales and manage their stock so they always have the right items in store “Aralco has been a saving grace,” says Lynda. “With inventory management in place, we can now focus on training our staff and serving our customers. Aralco is the foundation of our business.”
Aralco’s software makes it easier for Diane’s Lingerie to deal with the varying nature of retail. Here are just a few of the benefits of the new inventory system:
In addition, Aralco is responsive to their needs, being available to answer questions and taking the time to help staff understand the system. “Since Aralco is also local and accessible, we found that they really understood what we needed,” says Lynda.
About Diane’s Lingerie
Diane’s Lingerie is a local landmark, thriving since 1983 despite competition from larger lingerie chains.
Why are they so successful? It’s simple, they understand and cater to their niche market by offering their customers personal attention, expertise in fitting, and a wide range of lingerie for every size and shape. “We realize the intimate nature of lingerie,” explains Lynda. “We want women to leave Diane’s with exactly what they needed in terms of style and comfort.”
The Management Team at DOT selected IRMCS to implement Aralco Retail Management and POS Software Systems at all their retail stores to overcome inadequate inventory control and increase their operational efficiency from Back Office to storefront with our real-time solutions.
Aralco Retail Systems went live smoothly at all retail stores, warehouse and department stores in March 2015 within 3 weeks from the day data migration was completed from their previous pos system to Aralco’s SQL database.
“We had lots of limitations with our previous POS on features, file sizes, and reports – it was not real-time and we had to do batching every day which was very cumbersome.
Ever since we changed to Aralco in 2015, our team has seen lots of improvements allowing us to stay on top of everything, from back office to our retail space. I would strongly recommend Aralco Retail Systems because it is always evolving to meet our new challenges” – Mr. Jeffrey Soh, General Manager and Business Co-Owner of Dot Store Group
18th August 2017
DOT is a Lifestyle Concept Store, with several branches, carries diverse ranges of merchandise from international labels such as Adidas, Puma, Havaianas, Nike, Nixon amongst other brands.
DOT stores are located at prime shopping malls in Singapore.
In early May 2017, Farm ‘N Pantry opened its first grocery store at Tanjong Pagar Center in Singapore with Aralco Retail POS Systems. Aralco is connected to the Back Office Server in real-time via the internet, with VPN-secured connections hosted by IRMCS.
The Aralco POS terminals are interfaced to Cashguard Closed Cash Management Systems where payment by currency note and coins are inserted and any change is automatically dispensed to the customers at each checkout. Cashiers no longer need to count float monies, cash tendered /change and the cash takings at the end of a shift giving rise to accuracy and productivity.
The constant promotion and markdowns of SKU prices and new products are now maintained at the Back Office or at any remote computers and are ‘pushed’ to the electronic shelf label (ESL) automatically at each store with great speed which saved lots of manpower every day besides absolute correct pricing information for customers at all times.
To further improve speed and accuracy of transaction processing at checkouts, in-counter systems are in place with built-in barcode scanner and weighing scale for selling products by scanning the barcode labels or by weight, which are communicated via RS232C, for example, 318 grams of avocados are electronically sent to the Aralco POS for auto-calculation of the SKU prices, at each point of sale terminal.
“Our CashGuard Cash Management Systems are interfaced to Aralco POS and work seamlessly to speed up all our cash transactions and stops us from worrying about handling cash. Each cashier only has to log in and out of the system without counting and signing off on the cash balance.
Our ESL tags, interfaced to Aralco, also save us time and errors by seamlessly and automatically synchronizing product information, promotion, and prices directly from our inventory database to the electronic price tags.
Aralco is able to give us the real-time information we need to run our grocery business with its powerful and user-definable reporting systems. Its on-line infrastructure also allows us to respond very quickly across multiple stores and is ideal for chain store operations.
We would recommend IRMCS whose team has been highly responsive and knowledgeable in Aralco Retail Systems.”
– Mr Tan, Executive General Manager, Farm ‘N Pantry Grocery Group
11th September 2017
About Farm ‘N Pantry:
Farm ‘N Pantry is part of an international company focused on fresh produce distribution to wholesale, retail and global markets. They are passionate about the produce they handle from field to plate, and pride themselves on mutually positive relationships with growers.
The complete retail systems went live on the scheduled go live date and on budget. ”Little Farms Group allocated a 12-week role out phase to ensure full optimization of the BOS Reporting Module and the subsequent interface of our E-Commerce and Wholesale Divisions.
Worthy of note has been the responsiveness of the IRMCS’ Team during the pre-planning and implementation phases which allowed the efficiency of dual planning and problem solving to deliver the project on time.
Little Farms Group believe Aralco Retail Systems will allow us to sustain a rapid operational growth due to the flexibility of the BOS interface to facilitate multiple retail units and business divisions”
– Mr Jonathan Miles Allum, Supervisory Board, Little Farms Group
About Little Farms :
At Little Farms, we believe in delivering outstanding quality food and exceptional customer service – from the farm to your table in 48 hours. Since our inception, we have worked hard to build relationships with our farmers and producers all across the world to find people who share our commitment to delivering only the best products.
While Little Farms’ retail focus is a more traditional and personal grocery shopping experience, we are also developing an online delivery business, allowing us to extend our customer relationships straight to their homes.
From The Management Team @ Little Farms Group | 7th March 2016
Jacquie McNeil was 23 years old when she fell in love with scents. Her passion that started with a modest 4 x 10 foot table at a local Vancouver flea market has spawned an aromatherapy empire that now includes 29 stores worldwide including countries as far away as Taiwan and Korea.
Escents has been an Aralco customer since 1999 when they realized that their manual systems and cash registers simply couldn’t provide the function they needed as a four store operation. Luckily, Aralco has been able to keep up with their phenomenal growth which includes not only their 29 retail stores but also a vibrant e-commerce and wholesale business.
While it was Aralco’s user-friendly interface that initially appealed to them, Escents now feels one of the key benefits of Aralco’s system is their Automatic Purchase Order System. Dave Kershaw, Escents’ former CFO, feels that the name of this module doesn’t do it justice. “It’s way more than just an Automatic Purchase Order System. It’s really a Demand Forecasting System that allows us to create automatic P.O.’s on intelligent data. The time that this saves is incredible and anyone in retail knows that inventory management is the name of the game. When you are a multi-store operation purchase orders can become a nightmare but Aralco’s system saves us an incredible amount of time and energy.”
Escent’s Aromatherapy is truly a Canadian success story and we like to think that Aralco played a role in that success!
In the fall of 2000, MJM Furniture Showcase had two stores and had only their accounting system automated. With aggressive plans for future growth and the knowledge that managing their inventory would be key to their success they began to search for the best software package available to fit their needs. High on their list of priorities was a solid Point of Sale program and real-time inventory control.
They spent considerable time and energy looking at a variety of software packages but felt that Aralco offered MJM the best VALUE. Dharma Siwan of MJM says “Aralco had the features that we needed along with a support and implementation plan that we felt confident in but the real clincher is that the total solution fit within the budget we had set out for this project.”
When asked what MJM values most about the Aralco system Dharma is quick to focus on the Purchase Order System as something that saves them a tremendous amount of time and effort. “The real-time inventory control that Aralco offers is something we have also come to rely on heavily. We carry over $3 Million dollars in inventory across all of our stores and managing and controlling this inventory is absolutely vital. Aralco gives us the ability to have absolute, real-time control of this inventory and offers tremendous drill-down capabilities at virtually every turn. We can inquire about a particular product and drill down to see the actual history of that product from the time we started carrying it and can get as detailed as seeing each and every customer’s sales receipt if we so desire.”
“The reports are fabulous. We rely on the basic sales reports, the inventory valuation and the bestseller reports to help us make smarter purchasing decisions as well as when, and where, to offer products at a discount. The reports are fully customizable and I’ve come away with my own list of favorites. An added bonus is that Aralco’s support team is always there to help when I need it but after 7 years I feel I could work on their support line! We train new staff ourselves and the Back Office employees are pretty confident on the system after about one week and the POS staff is usually capable users of Aralco’s POS system within a day or two.”
Dharma sums it up best when she says “We’ve been working with the Aralco system for many years and have grown from 2 stores to 5 stores. Have we had any growing pains along the way? You bet, but MJM and Aralco have worked together over our 7-year relationship to solve them, which at the end of the day is all you can ask for in an important business partner.”
About MJM Furniture Showcase:
MJM Furniture Showcase is one of the largest independent furniture stores in the lower mainland of British Columbia, Canada. They offer brand name furniture at affordable prices with excellent after-sales service. With stores in Abbotsford, Coquitlam and Surrey they offer their customers incredible selection at their showrooms that range is size from 20 000 square feet right up to 50 000 square feet.
We decided to use Aralco after speaking with multiple software providers, I found that the Aralco software and team understood what I needed and provided exactly that.
The software has allowed us to process our daily transactions into an intelligent POS system. The back office allows us to get detailed reports on various different variables we use to monitor our business activity and progress.
Any time I have needed technical help or have had any questions I either call or email depending on the severity of the situation and I always get a quick and accurate response.
Due to the nature of our business, we do not have too many uses for the new features.
The Aralco team and software is extremely well built and very reliable. The powerful POS system allows me to conduct any transaction I need to complete and track my staff hours but the equally strong back office allows me to condense or expand any information I want to see into easy to read format. The system itself is very intuitive making usage very easy for anyone.
About Bullion Gold Exchange:
Established since 2010, Bullion Gold started with one location in Mississauga, Ontario Canada and has seen a rapid growth to 19 in a matter of 16 months with locations across, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba Alberta, and British Columbia. Their primary business is to purchases various grades of gold at locations set up in high traffic malls.
We started using Aralco around 10 years ago. Our previous POS software was cumbersome and not user friendly. It did not have accurate inventory control and many of the functionalities we needed for our business were simply not available.
Besides inadequate service and support, it was still very pricey. Fortunately, we got in touch with Aralco and it has been one of the best business decisions we have made.
Aralco POS and Back Office modules have allowed us to have a better control on the various facets of the business from Inventory control to analyzing Staff and Store performance as well as Vendors Management, Purchase Orders, monitoring Receiving, Return to Vendor all packaged with a powerful Report Generator.
Aralco’s user friendly and powerful POS provides excellent controls on Discounts, Returns, Gift Cards and Payment Processing. There are so many options one can add that all the needs of almost any size business can be met.
A significant area Aralco stands out from its competitors is in its after-sales service and support. It has always been quick, friendly and all issues get resolved. They understand the urgency of a business to get the issues resolved in a timely manner and have never let us down. While we have grown as a company, our Aralco software has kept up with the changes and is fully scalable.
Lastly, Aralco is always adding new program features and updates. It is full of features and with available custom programming, we have not seen any shortcomings.
Aralco always keeping up with changes in business environment and rules such as tax changes, gift-cards, payment processing, coin rounding and other powerful features to make our job easier such as ordering, accurate inventory lockups, improved customer service.
We are very happy that we decided on Aralco as it offers great value for our investment. I have always recommended Aralco to all my business associates as having being a customer for 10 years, I can vouch for the superior product and customer service they provide.
It is my great pleasure to advise that Aralco has been handling our accounts in Bangladesh for the past decade and have proven to be extremely knowledgeable in the field of inventory management and POS systems.
Aralco has been and will continue to serve us to the best of their abilities and offer a complete and diverse line of retail software solutions for our business. It has been an excellent choice for us.
We at KOMART Supermarket are very satisfied with the smooth and steady progress in our business relationship for more than a decade.
The results to date say a lot for the quality of work being offered by Aralco. We, therefore, recommend Aralco as a high-calibre provider for a wide range of inventory management and POS system requirements.
KOREAN MART LTD.
Chairman Jake Choung
Finally, a system that does what it says it is going to do! The Aralco Retail System is very easy to use, but some parts require a certain competency. The point of sale is easy and safe. It also features compatibility with website, great reporting, ease of purchasing, and a great support team who care.
It meets all of our needs, but they are constantly reaching for more. I am really happy about that. The phone support is great and timely. There are different people for different types of issues, and this is really helpful.
Many systems have ease of use on the front end, but few can really deliver on the back end. The owner of this product is very passionate about making his customers happy and constantly adapts the program offerings to suit current retail conditions.
It would be nice if the support was less expensive. Having said that, I have learned that you get what you pay for. I had several systems before this one, and without the proper support, you pay in labour costs and the inability to make timely decisions.”
Gary Mussatto, Co-founder of Toy Jungle
About Toy Jungle:
Gary and Misti are the founders of the Toy Jungle in Vancouver, British Columbia, and since 1997 their community stores have been putting smiles on kids’ faces and bringing families together with unique toys from around the world.
They both come from a background in the entertainment business and in 1997 they started an indoor play centre for kids called the Gator Pit. Little did they know at the time that this business would teach them about inspiring children, bringing families together and creating community, all of which lead to the creation of the Toy Jungle, whose sole mission is ‘Creating a Fun-Loving Community Together.’ “Toys and games are secondary,” says Gary, “It’s the smile in the eyes of the kids that I love!”
Obsessions Gift Shop was founded by Alex Barker and Mark Kenna after arriving in Canada from England in 1998 with a vision and a dream. In February of 1998, they started with a small kiosk at Pacific Centre Mall in downtown Vancouver selling unique gift products like funky watches, metal artwork, and men’s accessories.
Within 3 months they opened two more kiosks and by June of that year, they opened their first full-fledged store on Denman Street. Fast forward to 2006 and you’ll find them with four stores scattered around Downtown Vancouver.
They realized very early that the ledger books and cash registers they were using to manage their operations as a kiosk business would not offer the long-term functionality they would need as they expanded. So, in the summer of 1998 they began the search for an appropriate retail package based on some recommendations from other retailers in the community.
Alex and Mark did their due diligence and found that Aralco’s POS software system offered the functionality they needed at a cost they could afford. Moreover, they liked the sense of partnership they felt in dealing with Aralco. Alex clarifies, ‘We felt it was very important to partner with a company that really cared about us and would be willing to help us in our desire to grow and thrive. We weren’t just a quick sale to Aralco. I think that level of trust and partnership is apparent when you consider that 8 years later we are still doing business with them.”
Alex goes on to say “I really like the flexible reporting that the Aralco POS system offers. In the fast-paced retail market, you need to understand what products are selling for you and which ones are not. Another key feature is Aralco’s ease-of-use. In the retail industry, you are always dealing with staff turnover. It’s a huge benefit that new staff can become competent users of Aralco’s POS software systems very quickly.