Post Categories: March 2016

Knowledge Portal: SAS Retail Services’ Growth Offers Opportunities for Retailers—and Associates

knowledgePortalPicSAS Retail Services has gone through several evolutions throughout its 30 year history. With each advancement, the company has aimed to improve its services, technologies and opportunities not only for retailers, but also for its associates. One of the best examples of this can be seen in the company’s recent launch of a dedicated in-store execution (ISE) program with Northeast grocer Ahold USA.

The partnership with Ahold is not entirely new, but rather an expansion and improvement upon their original contract with SAS Retail Services. Like many of SAS Retail Services’ clients, Ahold has now moved from a managed model to a dedicated ISE program, after realizing the efficiencies to be gained.

“When we originally started the managed program at Ahold, they primarily looked to us for help with execution,” explains Alonso Garcia, SAS Vice President of the Ahold program. “But as Ahold underwent some major reorganization in 2015, they looked to us to take on a greater role. We saw that as our opportunity to step up and show them we had the knowledge and skills to drive the whole program—not just execution, but also planning.

“We helped them gain efficiencies and expand the program, enhancing our services to fit their needs,” Garcia continues. “We also partnered with them on a major store acquisition, covering 25 A&P stores they had purchased in the New York metro area to Ahold banners in just 5 weeks.”

Ultimately SAS’s efforts paid off, landing them the new contract for a dedicated ISE model. That meant expanding the managed program that relied on third-party merchandisers managed by a team of just over 30 SAS operations managers and territory supervisors to an over 1,600-person team of SAS merchandisers, managers and supervisors—all in 4 weeks. True to their track record, SAS launched the program in January on time and fully staffed, even exceeding the year-over-year execution rates in the first week.

knowledgePortalPic2Alonso Garcia credits the success of the launch much to his team’s “hard work, dedication and the willingness to do what it took to get this done.” His own career path has been driven by much the same—and highlights the opportunities SAS Retail Services’ growth is also offering its associates.

Garcia, a 16-year veteran of SAS, started working for the company right out of high school as a part-time merchandiser for Southern California retailer. From there, he became a team lead, then a full-time salaried lead at the retailer, before moving on to a broader role as a field supervisor. As the company landed new accounts with different retailers, Garcia offered his knowledge and experience, eventually moving out of the Southern California are to serve as the Director of Operations for a Northern California retailer. His biggest move came when he was tapped to help with Ahold account in Pennsylvania, where he now serves as its Vice President.

“I like to joke that it’s almost like a farm system out of the Southern California office,” says Garcia. “There are several of us who were hungry for opportunity and have been given the chance to move and grow with the company.”

The company’s success and that of its associates goes hand-in-hand, driving continued growth for both, as well as innovation for its retailer clients.

To learn more about SAS Retail Services’ in-store execution and merchandising capabilities, contact Michael Bellman – President SAS Retail Services – at