News Briefs


Acosta Unites Agencies Under New Brand


Jacksonville, Florida-based marketing agency Acosta has launched Acosta Group, a unified brand of the company’s omnichannel retail, marketing and foodservice agencies, to provide clients better access to its full suite of solutions.

"We are operating in a new era of commerce that demands a diverse yet cohesive set of solutions that touch the consumer everywhere they buy," Brian Wynne, CEO of Acosta Group, said in a media release. "Across our agencies, we are investing in the expansion of our strategic capabilities and simplifying access to our suite of services. The promise of Acosta Group is to deliver frictionless, modern solutions that accelerate sales, share and profit growth for our partners, now and in the future."

More than 2,500 brands, retailers and foodservice providers ranging from CPG to consumer electronics, natural and specialty, fresh foods, health and beauty care, convenience, mass and club — use Acosta Group agencies to connect consumers with their products across the path to purchase.

The collective unites Acosta’s end-to-end solutions, including headquarters sales services, omnichannel retail solutions, in-store selling and training, integrated marketing, foodservice sales enablement and culinary solutions as well as advanced data and insights from proprietary first-party data, research and analytics.

The Acosta Group pillar agencies comprise:

  • Acosta: Omnichannel retail solutions and business intelligence, including headquarter sales, digital commerce, back-office solutions, merchandising, revenue growth management, space and category management.
  • Core Foodservice: Progressive foodservice sales enablement and culinary solutions that enable brands to sell to today's influential foodservice operators.
  • Mosaic: Integrated marketing capabilities, from in-store sales and training and experiential to brand building and national media campaigns.
  • Premium: Sales and training, merchandising, and field technology to identify insights, grow sales and help brands and retailers execute.
  • ActionLink: Specialized merchandising and in-store selling solutions.

"With Acosta Group, we are creating a platform that enables easy access to all of our agencies and helps brands and retailers achieve their full potential, regardless of their size or where they are in their lifecycle,” said Wynne.


Dick's to Acquire Moosejaw


Dick’s Sporting Goods has agreed to acquire outdoor retailer Moosejaw from Walmart. The acquisition will expand Dick’s outdoor product portfolio currently led by its specialty retailer, Public Lands and reaffirm its commitment to the growing outdoor category.

Moosejaw, founded in Michigan in 1992, operates a large web presence through its e-commerce platform and strong vendor relationships with outdoor brands. Moosejaw also operates brick-and-mortar locations in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan and Missouri.  

"We admire what Moosejaw has accomplished over the past 30 years as leaders in the outdoor industry and look forward to the opportunity to share insights and learn from one another," Todd Spaletto, president, Public Lands and senior vice president, Dick’s, said in media release from Dick’s. "We believe there's potential to grow the Moosejaw business and provide compelling experiences and an expanded product assortment to its millions of loyal customers."

Dick’s launched Public Lands in 2021 following several years of development in an effort to celebrate and protect public lands, according to the release. The brand has since grown to seven retail locations and an e-commerce presence. Once the acquisition closes, Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comerford will report to Spaletto.

The deal is expected to close this month.

Walmart acquired Moosejaw in February 2017 for approximately $51 million. In 2021, Moosejaw opened its first physical location in Bentonville, Arkansas, where Walmart is headquartered. The store was the second-largest Moosejaw location in the U.S., spanning 6,000 square feet.


Pricer Explores Sustainable Electronic Shelf Labels


Pricer, a Sweden-based technology company specialized in shelf automation and communication solutions, is exploring the next generation of electronic shelf labels (ESL), self-powered through light, in partnership with Epishine, a Swedish developer of printed organic solar cells.

The goal of this partnership is to find a solution that combines both the benefits of digitalization and the increased focus on sustainability, according to a media release from Pricer.

"We are convinced that Epishine is the perfect choice of partner for us, and together we aim at setting a new standard for sustainable retail,” Chris Chalkitis, chief digital officer at Pricer, said in the release. “With more than 30 million electronic shelf labels sold every year, Pricer realizes the positive impact that alternative energy sources will have on retailers' sustainability targets. As we see an increasing interest from leading retailers all over the world in in-store communications solutions, and thereby a rise in energy needs, we are continuously looking at alternative energy sources.”

Epishine's indoor solar cells are developed for indoor lighting, meaning they harvest energy from the available light indoors to power electronics like ESLs. “Smart retail” is a strategic avenue for a sustainable shift in powering small devices such as shelf labels, due to the number of batteries that can be eliminated as well as because of the light availability in stores, per the release.

"The trends of digitalization and sustainability within retail align very well with our ambition to support our customers in making sustainable self-powered electronics,” added Anna Bjorklou, CEO at Epishine.


Acosta Appoints EVP of In-Store Services for Walmart


Marketing agency Acosta has hired Don Byrd as executive vice president of in-store services for Walmart.

Byrd leads a newly formed team dedicated to elevating service and outcomes and enhancing talent acquisition and engagement in support of the company's business with the mass merchant, according to a news release.

Byrd’s resume includes 20 years of experience with CPG and mass retailers in sales, market research, business development, marketing strategy and retail category management.

Byrd recently worked at Information Resources Inc. (IRI), serving as principal/team leader of CPG and retail insights. In that role, he assisted Fortune 100/500 CPG companies across the U.S. leverage data and insights to drive growth at retail. Prior to IRI, Byrd held leadership roles at Crossmark and Premium Retail Services, an Acosta agency.

Acosta’s in-store services team was formed as part of the company’s sales agency to address crucial retail challenges across labor, technology and execution for clients and customers.

Byrd started in his new role in February, reporting to David Yenzer, president of Acosta's in-store services team.


Walgreens Seeks Diverse Suppliers for Summit

walgreens aisle

Walgreens will hold a Supplier Diversity Summit on March 28 during which qualifying vendors and businesses can pitch their retail offerings to the drugstore chain’s merchandising team.

The virtual event invites diverse vendors to share their products and receive feedback from Walgreens, with the goal of being stocked on store shelves in their local areas.

Walgreens will work to increase sourcing from suppliers that are at least 51% owned, operated and managed by individuals who are disadvantaged, disabled, military veterans, LGBTQ+, minorities and/or women.

The summit will focus on products across grocery, household, beauty and personal care, health and wellness, and general merchandise, among other categories. 

“Meeting the needs of our diverse patients and customers is imperative to our role as America’s community healthcare destination,” Alethia Jackson, senior vice president of environmental, social and governance and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance, said in a news release. “We are looking forward to connecting with diverse suppliers that will ensure our shelves benefit everyone, providing a wider selection of products and services.”

The summit is available to businesses from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. 

All sourcing and product submissions will be made through ECRM’s online product discovery and sourcing platform, RangeMe. ECRM will qualify suppliers, create curated meeting schedules and facilitate face-to-face virtual meetings with Walgreens buyers. All meetings will be conducted through ECRM’s virtual meeting platform, ECRM Connect.


Veteran Ad Exec Joins Instacart


Instacart has hired veteran ad executive Tim Castelli from iHeartMedia to be the online delivery company’s vice president of global advertising sales.

Castelli will lead Instacart’s advertising sales organization, focusing on building strong relationships with brand partners and media agencies across the industry. He will report to chief business officer Chris Rogers.

Castelli has more than 30 years of industry experience building advertising solutions for brands. He spent the last 10 years at iHeartMedia, leading sales functions and most recently serving as chief revenue officer of the media company’s multi-platform group.

Prior to iHeartMedia, Castelli was a senior vice president of sales for AOL. He also led advertising and partnership activities at Google as the technology industry director. Further, he has served as the publisher of Rolling Stone magazine.

This hire comes as Instacart continues to grow its advertising business, Instacart Ads, which currently serves some-5,500 brand partners, according to the company. In 2022, the company rolled out a slew of new solutions, including “new to brand” metrics and A/B and lift testing.

Brands including ApplegateGeneral Mills, Kellogg and Unilever have leveraged Instacart’s advertising solutions.

Instacart told the Path to Purchase Institute in an email that Kellogg saw a double-digit sales lift from Instacart Ads, as one of the first to pilot its sales lift and A/B testing capabilities.

Additionally, Unilever’s “The Ice Cream Shop” pop-up on the platform revealed that more than 75% of customers are net-new to the brand.