Retailing veteran joins Boston-based Teikametrics

Jim Speltz, the former chief executive of specialty retailer Brookstone Holdings Corp., has signed on as chief operating officer of Boston-based Teikametrics LLC, which provides management software for online retailers who sell through Amazon.com.

“We are creating the opportunity for our customers to sell more stuff,” said Speltz, who oversaw Brookstone’s passage through bankruptcy in 2014, as well as the company’s $174 million sale to a consortium of Chinese investors.

A large percentage of merchandise on Amazon.com is actually being sold by third-party companies that use Amazon as their online retail store.  Teikametrics software enables these sellers to precisely manage the way their products are sold. “We help those retailers win, and be much more successful in optimizing their inventory,” said Alasdair McLean-Foreman, the company’s chief executive, who founded the company in 2011. McLean-Foreman, who graduated from Harvard University in 2005, ran an online sporting goods store out of his dorm room, and became an Amazon third-party retailer.  It gave him the idea to develop analytics software that lets a retailer monitor the prices and inventory levels of his competitors.  With that information, sellers can identify popular products, cut back on slow-selling goods, and instantly shift prices higher or lower to optimize the company’s revenues.

Teikametrics expects to generate between $5 million and $10 million in revenue in 2016.  The company has 27 employees; in January it will move to a new office in the Seaport district with capacity for 50 employees. Teikametrics has been funded entirely by its founders. It’s got hundreds of customers, including local retailers Newbury Comics and Aubuchon Hardware.  “We’re retail experts that know how to build the right software for thousands of small retailers,” McLean-Foreman said.

In addition, Speltz said the company will help its clients do a better job of positioning their products inside the vast Amazon.com catalog.  “The company is really now embracing branding and merchandising as part of its core offering,” he said.  

For instance, Teikametrics software will track which keywords are most effective in bringing products to the top of the Amazon search page. Their clients’ pages will then be optimized to ensure that shoppers see them. “We’re capturing the behavior and a lot of the data points and using that to our advantage,” said Speltz.  “We’re very much subject matter experts when it comes to the Amazon platform.

Hiawatha Bray is a technology reporter for the Boston Globe. E-mail him at h_bray@globe.com.
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