PlumRiver Buys Arch Rival to Create Large Online Tech Provider

B2B e-commerce solutions provider PlumRiver said Wednesday it will acquire CenterStone Technologies for an undisclosed amount.

The deal is expected to offer manufacturers — many of which are popular in the outdoor space — a unified platform that allows them to wholesale their products online to retailers. More specific, the merger intends to create a uniform interface for manufacturers and retailers, with both technology providers joining together behind PlumRiver’s Elastic Suite platform.

Elastic is the B2B digital platform for manufacturers that combines the company’s trademark sorting tool with a whiteboarding feature. Assisting customers on all sides, from inventory management to digital catalog creation and product customization, Elastic has also become increasingly popular with retailers looking to enter the wholesale arena.

For PlumRiver, the appeal of CenterStone was threefold: client base, breadth of market and personnel. Both companies are strongly placed in the outdoor retail market, with clients including Crocs, Reebok, Patagonia, Timberland and Burton, among others.

The merger brings the competitors under one roof, though it will take place over several months. The deal also allows PlumRiver to expand its reach into adjacent categories where its foothold wasn’t as strong.

Whit Johnson, a PlumRiver Principal, said, “They have great customers who we hope to make ours in the long-term.”

It’s also the people behind the product that attracted PlumRiver to the table. “In a software world, human capital is crucial,” said Johnson. “They have a deep bench of experienced personnel.” This perspective is reflected in the decision by PlumRiver to retain the majority of CenterStone employees, including the global technology support team; CenterStone counts users in 127 countries.

CenterStone CEO Tom Detmer spoke of the arrival of a new standard in e-commerce in a release. “Offering Elastic to our entire manufacturing client base, and providing associated retailers with their preferred product procurement solution, will result in stronger and more profitable e-commerce relationships between buyers and suppliers,” said Detmer.

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