News Briefs


UK Grocer Morrisons Bolsters Loyalty, Promotions Capabilities


U.K. supermarket chain Morrisons and marketing technology company Eagle Eye Solutions have entered into a five-year agreement to further develop the retailer’s loyalty and promotional offerings.

Morrisons will leverage Eagle Eye's API-based AIR platform to enhance its loyalty program, Morrisons More, which allows customers to benefit from exclusive prices and earn points on selected products in-store, online and on fuel. The new capabilities enhance customer engagement online and in-store, and help the supermarket scale the number of broadcast and targeted/personalized offers available, according to a media release from Eagle Eye. 

The upgraded experience will roll out to all 499 stores nationwide and is expected to go live later in 2023.

"This has been a transformational year for our More Card loyalty scheme, and we are very pleased to be working with Eagle Eye, who are an acknowledged leader in this field, as we implement our plans to develop the scheme still further for our customers,” Rachel Eyre, Morrisons chief customer and marketing officer, said in the release.

In May, Morrisons brought back its More Card loyalty program to replace its My Morrisons app following a successful trial. The Morrisons More program can be used as a physical card or app to earn points.

In January, Eagle Eye completed its acquisition of Untienots SAS (known as Untie Nots), a French SaaS company that enables retailers to develop personalized and gamified promotions at scale.


Giant Food Names Creative Agency of Record

giant food

Ahold Delhaize’s Giant Food has named Heart & Soul Marketing its strategic creative agency of record.

The regional grocer, which has stores across Washington D.C., Delaware, Maryland and Virginia (DMV), has tapped the boutique agency to develop a fresh brand campaign focused on a “shared sense of community” that helps modernize its image, while maintaining its position as a local grocery chain in the metropolitan area, according to a media release.

Heart & Soul will lead the creative concepting and campaign development for television, radio, out-of-home, seasonal and in-store. The campaign is slated to debut in early 2024. It will showcase Giant Food’s roots in the DMV and how it “nourishes its community through great food and strong human connections,” per the release.

"We have been proud to be a part of the community for over 87 years and [Heart & Soul Marketing’s] fresh perspective and commitment to connecting with consumers aligns with our vision to share the stories that make Giant Food so special to the 165 communities that we serve," Dyani Hanrahan, vice president of marketing for Giant Food, said in the release.

Heart & Soul was selected through a nationwide request-for-proposal process spearheaded by the Mercer Island Group, a management consulting firm in Washington and longtime partner of Giant Food and Ahold Delhaize.

Heart & Soul was founded in 2020 and is based in Phoenix. As Giant Foods’ agency partner, Heart & Soul will be responsible for bringing the overarching brand strategy and creative direction to life while supporting seasonal campaigns and the retailer’s growth drivers.

The Giant Food account is expected to increase the size of Heart & Soul by at least 20% as it adds positions in account services, copywriting, graphic design, production artists and social media.


Kevin Hart's Wellness Brand Launches at Walmart


Walmart has become the exclusive retailer of another celebrity backed brand. VitaHustle, actor/comedian Kevin Hart’s nutritional wellness brand, recently launched on and in stores nationwide.

The product  which uses plant-based ingredients and includes VitaHustle ONE superfood protein, ONE superfood greens, electrolyte hydration drink mixes and gummy vitamins — is stocked in the vitamin aisle in stores. Prices from $11.98 to $24.98.

VitaHustle also operates its own standalone website, offering DTC delivery and a subscription model.

Hart’s partnership with Walmart allows VitaHustle to reach a broader audience, particularly with a retailer that shares its goal of making wellness more accessible, according to a media release from the brand.

"We are thrilled to work with Kevin and bring VitaHustle to Walmart," Vinima Shekhar, Walmart vice president of merchandising, wellness, said in the release. "Together with VitaHustle, we will empower our customers to explore products that elevate their wellness routines to save money and live better."

Walmart is no stranger to forming exclusive partnerships with emerging, DTC and celebrity-backed brands, such as Betr Remedies, the socially conscious OTC medicine brand co-founded by actor Ellen Pompeo. In 2021, the mass merchant also became the exclusive retailer for several DTC cosmetics brands with huge social media followings, including KAB Cosmetics, a brand co-founded by former "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Kim Zolciak-Biermann.


Vericast, Intel Pilot In-Store Retail Media Network


Marketing company Vericast, in collaboration with Intel, has designed, deployed and tested a new programmatically enabled digital in-store retail media network.

Powered by Vericast's intelligent targeting technology and Intel's Edge software platforms, the network serves contextually relevant advertising and product information throughout the shopping experience, according to a media release. The collaboration is part of a larger industry effort/trend to modernize retail and tap into the digitization of the physical store, which some are calling the next big thing in retail media.

Vericast recently tested the network by piloting an advertising campaign for a global beverage company across 50 individually operated convenience stores in Dallas and New Orleans. The two-week test featured eight different advertisements deployed on in-store digital displays and beverage cooler screens. According to the release, the purpose was to validate the technologies and system, capture data and discover learnings in a real-world environment.

The campaign says it delivered an estimated 350,000 verified customer impressions; captured zero-party data (or data that a consumer intentionally shares with a brand); tracked sales by SKU; and measured consumer sentiment. Additionally, about 85% of consumers who visited a custom landing page created for the pilot opted in to provide data.

The in-store network leverages Vericast's new “privacy centric” contextual advertising solution that serves relevant digital ads to consumers as they shop and measures their behavior with proprietary campaign data analytics. The hardware consists of multiple-sized display and cooler screen panels that utilize IoT sensors and computer vision technology to capture anonymized analytics and enable Vericast to measure consumer engagement in real-time, per the release.

"The digitization of in-store signage and its use in programmatic advertising is a natural extension of Vericast's commitment to relevant, responsible and measurable omnichannel impact," Hans Fischmann, vice president of product management at Vericast, said in the release.

Vericast has recently expanded its in-store retail media network with multiple regional grocery chains, fast casual restaurants and made a 1,700-store commitment from a global convenience store brand.


EnsembleIQ Recognized for Career Growth Opportunities


EnsembleIQ, the parent company of the Path to Purchase Institute, has been recognized as one of the “Best Companies for Career Growth” by workplace evaluation firm Comparably.

This honor was based on ratings voluntarily and anonymously submitted to Comparably by EIQ employees between May 2022 and May 2023. The survey asked questions about the company’s professional development opportunities in areas including meaningful career advancement, mentorship, challenging work and frequency of valuable feedback from direct managers on how to improve. 

“Our employees are the lifeblood of our company,” EIQ CEO Jennifer Litterick said in a company media release. “As our most valuable asset, we are committed to investing in their careers. We believe in creating a positive culture that encourages, supports and celebrates our employees. Promoting from within boosts morale, energizes employees and enhances our organizational intelligence–improving our performance. We are proud to be recognized by Comparably as a top company for career growth.”

Previously, EIQ was honored by Comparably in 2022 as a “Best Place to Work in Chicago,” where the company is headquartered in, and in the “Best Leadership Teams” category, for driving a positive culture change.

Additionally, in Canada, EIQ is featured in “The Career Directory 2023,” which tells recent graduates that EIQ is a great place to start their careers.


Neptune Retail Solutions to Buy Quotient

neptune quotient

Retail marketing firm Neptune Retail Solutions is acquiring Quotient Technology, the parent company of, for $430 million in cash.

The merger will bring together Quotient’s technology platform, extensive digital promotions retail network and proprietary data with Neptune’s broad in-store network and data-driven shopper marketing insights across in-store and print media.

Charlesbank Capital Partners, a private investment firm and current majority investor of Neptune, will be the majority investor of the combined company, Neptune and Quotient announced in a June 20 media release. Neptune CEO William E. Redmond Jr. (Bill Redmond) will be CEO of the combined business.

“Today’s announcement is an exciting next step in our journey in the growing retail media industry and enables us to create more scale as a combined company,” said Matt Krepsik, CEO of Quotient. “Neptune and Charlesbank are ideal partners for Quotient, and we look forward to entering into this new chapter.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2023, at which point Quotient will cease to be a publicly traded company.

“Quotient's merger into Neptune unites two retail marketing innovators and represents a milestone that builds on our successful May 2020 carve-out of News America Marketing, and the transformative operational focus and growth spearheaded by Bill Redmond that created Neptune as it exists today,” Brandon White, managing director of Charlesbank, added.

Quotient Technology was founded in 1998 and operates marketing platforms offering consumers digital promotions. The company partners with advertisers, publishers and retailers, including Clorox, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, CVS Pharmacy, Dollar General, Ahold Delhaize USA, Amazon and Microsoft.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Quotient also has offices across the U.S. as well as in Bangalore, Paris, London and Tel Aviv.

Neptune Retail Solutions’ platform includes in-store marketing rights in North America’s top grocery, dollar and drugstores, including Ahold, Albertsons, CVS, Family Dollar, Kroger, Loblaws, Publix, Rite-Aid, Southeastern Grocers and Walgreens. It also owns and operates cashback app Checkout 51, generating first-party shopping data via receipt scans from key retail locations across the U.S. and Canada.