Story/History

The KWI Story

A Vision for Retailing Excellence

In 1985, Benetton’s most successful franchisee came to a young technology entrepreneur with a unique request. He needed a superior retailing system that would be the right solution, and would not require an IT staff to run it. And oh yes – it had to be scalable to the company’s growth, and had to enhance the company’s customer relationships with every interaction.

KWI was born. Our founder Sam Kliger entered the retail industry designing and developing the first SaaS-based, managed services solution to run specialty retail operations.

We started something! Today it’s called cloud retailing.

It Began As Managed Services

For our first decade, KWI was literally the sole provider of managed services to retailers. We built our niche supporting small- to medium-sized retailers and brands launching their first retail stores.

As we grew, adding retailers and brands, so did our capabilities. We gathered an outstanding team and made major investments in research and development. Our continuing investment, together with strong innovation, created a highly scalable solution for merchandising and retail back office functionality. That was just the beginning.

A Commitment to Best Practices

Excellence at KWI is driven by our team of highly accomplished retail specialists, many of whom are veterans of the ‘client side’. They bring unique expertise and insights to their operational areas.

From the beginning, our growth strategy was to provide deep domain back office expertise, and develop best-in-class partnerships. After partnering with Fujitsu and Epicor we embedded IBM Cognos as our business intelligence tool.

Next, we partnered with Micros XBR for Loss Prevention, and extended our platform to offer CRM. We were now powerfully positioned to deliver superior retailing solutions for our clients, and protect their investments as they grew.

As we grew, we continued to build our architecture, supporting a solution that is 100% web-based, mobility-enabled and completely centralized. Our virtualized infrastructure delivers one version of the KWI solution for all our clients. It’s the only way to achieve true real-time retailing.

Into the Cloud

Early Internet bandwidth limitations made cloud computing for the masses a late development. But KWI’s strength as a retail technology leader moved us, and our clients, from a managed services model into the cloud swiftly as the Internet expanded. Our highly scalable, enterprise-class platform soon encompassed a full suite of back office, cloud-based solutions to manage retail chains of any size.

Today, KWI has the industry’s leading cloud-based retail technology – and a track record no one can match. Our world-class offering derives from three decades building the team, technology and infrastructure.

And Into the Next Century

As our customer base grew to over 120 retailers, we entered a new partnership with Global Bay/VeriFone. The partnership brought our clients state-of-the-art mobile POS and mobile-enabled cloud in-store solutions deployed on Apple technology: iPad, iPad Mini and iPod Touch.

In 2014, KWI took ownership of the intellectual property and associated patent licenses for the KWI Cloud 9 Mobile POS technology platform. The acquisition gives us extraordinary control over the mobile suite of POS, in-store and other services we developed using the Global Bay/VeriFone Toolkit. The synergy of our system enhances every aspect of our clients’ retailing success.

KWI continues to be the true leader in enterprise-class cloud platforms for end-to-end retail solutions. We support all of our retailers on a single platform, providing economies of scale to all.

Solid and Strong

KWI remains a privately held, debt-free and 100% management-owned company with over 170 employees and steady growth.  As the leading cloud based retail provider, KWI represents thousands of stores with millions of transactions across 100 plus retailers – by far the largest solution provider of POS in specialty retail in 2014.

KWI clients receive the most reliable and proven technology for Omni-Channel, cloud-based retailing – positioned for strength today and continued leadership tomorrow.