Specialty ski brand Spyder Active Sports Inc has selected the Epicor Retail Software as a Service (SaaS) solution to help streamline its retail operations and support future expansion.

Based in Boulder, Colorado, Spyder is one of the largest ski-specialty brands in the world, kitting out some of the sport's leading athletes. Spyder boasts several hundred styles and adds some 20,000 new SKUs each year.

In early 2008, Spyder acquired Cloudveil Mountain Works Inc, the producer of technical outdoor, mountaineering, and fly fishing apparel.

The company sells products in the US and Canada to more than 550 high-quality specialty retailers, and outside North America in 50 countries through its Spyder-Europe office and through independent distributors around the globe.

The brand also operates its own retail stores and has direct e-commerce operations.

To help streamline its retail operations and support its growth, Spyder selected Epicor Retail as its technology partner, and its SaaS solution as the IT platform.

The Epicor Retail SaaS delivery model provides retailers with access to Epicor's suite of solutions with a "pay as you go" pricing model that gives the freedom and flexibility to focus IT resources on other parts of the business.

The Store, Merchandising, Planning, Audit & Operations Management, CRM and Business Intelligence solutions are delivered directly to store locations and the head office, via high-speed networks.

Epicor hosts the software, supplies and installs all hardware, software and infrastructure, and provides data security, backups and complete system maintenance.

Kevin Smith, chief information officer for Spyder, says the solution "basically eliminates all of the traditional barriers to entry for small to midmarket retailers.

"It's not easy for a wholesaler to go to a direct sale model," he said of the company's move in recent years to open up its own stores.

"We wanted to make this transition properly, ensuring that we can meet and exceed the needs of our customers when it comes to quality, value, selection and customer service."