Case Study

From Store Operations to Visual Store Experience

Hilco Global is the premier asset monetization and retail operations firm in the United States. Their team operates over 5000 retail locations a year for retailers who lack the core competencies to increase or decrease the size of their store fleet. As part of this service, Hilco built an internal software platform store teams used to run projects more efficiently.


The retail sector is going through a transition, facing a perfect storm of changing consumer preferences, underinvestment in physical stores, and a shortage of knowledgeable, motivated staff. A few data points to set the scene:

  • 60% of consumers would stop doing business with a retailer based on a poor service experience.
  • Employee turnover in retail is 60+% and represents 20% of the US workforce (~31M employees).
  • Retailer profitability fell from 10% to 7% as retailers rushed to unprofitable online channels.

Hilco is no stranger to a challenge, often operating a retailer’s lowest-performing stores in the most time and profit-critical environments.

Recognizing early on that the only thing a retailer has control of is conversion (the likelihood of an individual who walks into a store walking out with a purchase), Hilco’s perspective is that a retailer’s brand, service experience, and inventory drive consistent purchases with the support of a strong store team.

Hilco developed a software platform for its internal teams to use when managing store locations during engagements to support its point of view. Experiencing the new solution, retailers took an interest – Hilco saw the potential to monetize the software tool. Lacking the experience and expertise required to build a successful SaaS company, Hilco reached out for assistance.

And that is where the Orchid Black enters the ReStore for Retail story…


As the Hilco retail team saw the (very) positive results internal teams were driving with ReStore, the natural question was:
“If it’s working for us, would it be valuable to other retailers?”

The first part of this answer came from a few international retailers that appreciated the value in the platform – specifically its visual merchandising functionality – and inquired about using the platform in other stores where Hilco was not engaged.

While it was still in an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) stage, the team at Hilco packaged up the product under the ReStore brand and launched it successfully with 10 retail brands.

But this raised more questions than answers:

  • We’re only in ~700 stores right now. What if we were to try and scale this to a retailer across a few hundred (or thousand) locations?
  • What functionality would be needed to expand into the largest retail (US) market?
  • What competitors are more prominent in the US and what is the best way to take market share? How can ReStore differentiate itself?

Through a business partner, the Hilco team was introduced to the right team to help answer those questions (and more).

I’ve worked with hundreds of technology companies the past 30 years Few solve a problem impacting our day-to-day lives, which is why I was so excited when I first encountered ReStore for Retail. ReStore isn’t another tool; it’s a platform creating meaningful differences for the thousands of employees retailers rely on to optimize their brands and in-store experiences.

Steven Horwitz


Building something from scratch is a demanding challenge. No partner-clients working alongside Orchid Black’s strategic growth consultants would call the process easy, but every business that’s completed it would describe it as worthwhile. The ReStore team accepted the challenge. After completing Orchid Black’s proprietary Value Creation Assessment (VCA), it was apparent that there was an opportunity to leverage Hilco’s retail relationships to create a better product and scale and capture market share in the US.

Orchid Black developed a GTM Strategy and Operational Plan for ReStore and brought in an experienced team that could scale the business and help this SaaS carve-out succeed.


How did we really know there was something special going on at ReStore? When the market took notice and saw what the team had created.

Specifically, once Gartner got under the hood and saw how the platform expedited the way retailers operate. The Gartner analysts noted that there really wasn’t anything else like this in the market, which is why the decision was made to put ReStore into a category of its own: Visual Store Experience

The evolution from a Store Operations Platform (of which there are many competitors) to a Visual Store Experience was complete.


Orchid Black saw the enormity of the opportunity. Hilco had resources, assets, and deep industry connections that most SaaS startups can only dream of.

But potential alone does not build a company. While the building blocks were there, a lot had to be done. Hilco had to elevate its brand outside of its effective but siloed asset monetization services and into the realm of a successful SaaS company.

VCA results validated the viability of ReStore’s place in the market and highlighted the following priorities in the 100-day Roadmap:

  1. Generate ARR
  2. Expand Hilco's business footprint
  3. Modify market perception
  4. Validate Hilco’s investment in ReStore
  5. Package and realize value from data

Accomplishing the 100-Day Plan required some serious legwork. There were multiple work streams running simultaneously to achieve the vision.

ReStore’s product team got to work on technology architecture changes that would fortify the product and set a foundation for scale. There was a concerted focus to lever the most popular functionality amongst the user base: visual merchandising. Orchid Black’s strategic growth consultants supported this effort through the analysis and selection of a software development vendor that had the right combination of sector and company maturity experience.

And if the product was ready, who was going to tell the market? Enter the sales team.

Orchid Black supported ReStore’s development of a sustainable growth engine by implementing a structured, data-driven, executable sales plan. What does that mean exactly?

  • Create a forecast
  • Identify a new tech stack, selected and implemented to better align with a standard SaaS sales org
  • Author sales materials (pitch decks, email templates, battlecards, etc.) were created to empower the existing team
  • Build out new positions (specific to selling the ReStore SaaS platform) and hire resources to accelerate ReStore’s presence in the market
  • Jumpstart business development through an event strategy to expand the ReStore brand in different retail circles

Sales wasn’t the only function that was taking center stage. Orchid Black also led marketing efforts, headlined by a revamped website and SEO strategy to increase ReStore’s digital presence.

And what’s the last prong on the three-headed revenue spear? Customer Success of course. Orchid Black took a support function (think technical product issues) and molded a team that focused on aligning ReStore’s objectives to client goals and expanding revenue over time.


  • Launched 7 pilot programs in North America
  • Executed a repeatable sales process – implementing a world-class CRM solution (Salesforce) and building a 7-figure pipeline in year 1 of the GTM strategy
  • Hired 5 internal team members with relevant B2B SaaS experience to accelerate the organizational transformation
  • Created compensation and incentive plans aligned to the growth of the entire business (Hilco + ReStore)
  • Developed a formal market launch plan culminating in a presentation at the Consensus Great Brand’s show
  • Deployed 6 Operating Partners to set up and run core business functions (Customer Success, Development, Sales)
  • Transitioned the ReStore platform from a monolithic code base to a highly configurable, modern microservices platform

Today the Orchid Black team continues to operate in multiple leadership roles within the business including strategy, sales, marketing, customer success, and product.

Orchid Black used its proprietary Value Creation process and specific B2B SaaS growth experience to architect and implement the right growth strategies to propel ReStore to the growth trajectory it’s now on.

Orchid Black’s carve-out SaaS offering is specifically designed for companies like Hilco to take industry-changing technology and processes they’ve created and package them to become a high-growth business unit inside the company.