Case Studies

SOS-Retail Services

On time, on budget, on purpose

SOS-Retail Services (SOS-RS) is a full-service company that supports national retailers and the hospitality industry. With locations in Franklin and Bedford, Texas, SOS-RS employs approximately 150 people, serving clients nationwide.

The company has stood on its own since 2009, when Pete Dencker, president of SOS-RS, purchased what was then his division of Store Opening Solutions – a Marmon Retail Services Group Company; his employer since 2005.

SOS-RS has been successful thanks to the abilities of Dencker, as well as his executive team, which includes: Joel Tuck, president of the construction division, and Jeffrey Mclaughlin, CFO. Over the past five years the company has built a solid team that continues to expand existing relationships with a world class client list.

The company supports its valued customers with turnkey project implementation. From start to finish, SOS-RS provides ground-up and design-build construction, as well as construction and project management, nationwide rollouts, along with the installation of fixtures, graphics and décor. Notably, SOS-RS delivers it all on time, on budget…on purpose.

Two halves to the whole

Dencker structured his full-service company as two divisions, with one focused on construction and the other on installation and merchandising. On the construction side, SOS-RS does everything from ground-up new builds to extensive remodels, rebranding and tenant build-outs.

On the installation and merchandising side, the company provides national retailers, including Target, Walmart, Pier One and Ross Stores, among others with individually tailored solutions for new store openings, remodels, resets and rollouts. “We take the finished box and build out the interior,” says Dencker. “Basically, we turn an empty building into a store.”

SOS-RS’s highly skilled professionals can install any fixture within a typical retail location, including cash wraps, showcases, wall systems, gondola systems, fitting rooms and free-standing fixtures. Likewise, the team handles all graphics installation: vinyl, dimensional lettering, pin-mount signage and banners. For décor needs, SOS-RS is skilled in moldings, paint and wallpaper.

In conjunction with its strategic partners, Store Opening Solutions and Koch Logistics, SOS-RS can transport, warehouse or consolidate all furniture, fixtures and equipment, as well as construction material. This means clients only have to make one phone call and pay one bill, as SOS-RS creates a seamless and stress-free project implementation experience.

Speed of convenience stores

The largest chain in the convenience retail industry, 7-Eleven, regularly calls on SOS-RS for its ongoing needs. When the company is experiencing growth, and can’t build stores fast enough, it relies on a fast-paced acquisition schedule. That’s where SOS-RS comes in.

“We rebrand the smaller chains that they have acquired with the appropriate signage, branded equipment and decor, interior finishes and exterior presentation, generally turning brand-X into a 7-Eleven,” says Tuck, who oversees the 7- Eleven program. “Convenience stores hire SOS-RS not only for our reputation as a reliable partner, but because we are able to complete a project fast. While other companies may take two to three weeks to complete a remodel, SOS-RS takes just a week; 95 percent of the time, we are able to complete a full-scale remodel in a week, working at night and keeping the store open during the day to minimize the impact on store sales.”

Quick capabilities have SOS-RS hustling for the majority of the year, as the company completes the conversion of numerous small convenience stores chains all over the country to the 7-Eleven brand. “We’re very happy about the great relationships we’ve been able to build, not only with 7-Eleven, but with all our regular clients,” says Dencker.

Connecting the right people

As a full-service company, SOS-RS has the ability to self-perform projects, as well as act as a construction or project manager. In either case, the company is committed to having an employee presence on every project. Internally SOS-RS has contract administration, equipment, IT and survey/CAD teams that support all of the field activity.

According to Dencker, all projects are coordinated using the company’s proprietary, web-based project management system, PRIMAS, which was developed and is currently managed by SOS-RS employees. “PRIMAS was designed specifically for the specialized needs of the retail and hospitality industries,” he details. “It’s a state-of-the-art management tool that effectively integrates all of the real world, disparate, generally low-tech processes, which are necessary for the successful execution of today’s high complexity, high velocity projects.”

Dencker goes on to note that PRIMAS is used by both SOS-RS employees and the company’s clients to access the information stored in PRIMAS; in either a store-centric or project-centric format. “Because of the robust underlying database, once data is entered into the application it can be viewed and reported on by location, by project, by vendor, over regions or in the form of customizable executive summary reporting,” he continues. “Data is easily accessible to field personnel who are focused on a single store, as well as corporate or project managers who require real time project updates across many stores.”

In order to able to respond to ever-changing client demands, SOS-RS hires highly qualified and competent employees who take pride in each project. “That’s a big part of running the business,” explains Dencker. “Getting the right people, in the right place, doing the right things is the key; my only job is to ensure they have the tools and processes necessary to be successful.”

SOS-RS attracts its valued employees by offering a tremendous benefit program, competitive pay, a great medical plan, quarterly bonuses, as well as a matching 401(k) program.

“Great companies are built on a foundation of great employees,” Dencker says. Therefore, when he established SOS-RS as a free-standing unit apart from The Marmon Group, he knew the potential. Today, he is continually looking to grow and push the company’s comfort zone. Due to extensive expertise, SOS-RS has been on the up-and-up from the beginning. Working for convenience stores, pharmacies, restaurants, hotels and big-box retailers, SOS-Retail Services is there to accomplish each customer’s unique goals, and will be in the future.

Published on: August 6, 2014


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