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UK Retailer Co-op Launches Media Network

The Co-op Media Network combines the retailer’s in-house team with its long-term agency partner, Threefold.

The Co-operative Group’s supermarket and convenience business has launched a retailer media network to help brands widen their audiences and improve advertising relevancy for its shoppers, according to a media release. The Co-op Media Network is the U.K.’s first in the convenience sector, the company says. 

Co-op is one of the U.K.’s biggest food retailers with more than 2,400 local, convenience and medium-sized stores. The Co-op Media Network was developed by the retailer’s in-house team and its long-term agency partner Threefold, which is owned by London-based retail media agency SMG (Shopper Media Group).

The retailer says the Co-op Media Network will deliver a new proposition that “capitalizes on Co-op’s strengths relating to the scale of its operations and the uniqueness of convenience shopping, compared to traditional, big box retailers,” per the release.

“This is a momentous move for Co-op and one that will solidify our position in the retail media sector,” Kenyatte Nelson, chief membership and customer officer at Co-op, said in the release. “Co-op’s nationwide network of frequently shopped smaller stores drives increased opportunities to see brands’ advertising campaigns, and the unique impulsive nature of convenience shopping missions creates untapped occasions for brands to grow their sales. Convenience shopping and supermarket shopping are different purchasing occasions, and brands will see greater sales and brand building benefits by executing media against both.”

The Co-op Media Network capabilities will leverage offsite digital media channels to enable brand advertisers to improve their media efficiency by focusing their advertising spend on shoppers that are more likely to engage with their products.

“This moment marks a true evolution in Co-op's media capabilities,” Samuel Knights, CEO at SMG, added. “There's now an ever-growing opportunity for brands to strategically connect with a distinct group of convenience shoppers with precision, ensuring the right messages are received by the right customers.”

SMG's proprietary software product, Plan-Apps, will also provide brands investing in the network with a “comprehensive” understanding of performance and measure the ROI that convenience media can drive, Knights added.

SMG was also recently tapped by U.K.-based supermarket chain Asda to manage and expand its retail media planning and operations functions.

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