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Co-op has announced on Wednesday, 31 January 2024, the launch of the UK’s first retail media network in the convenience sector to help brands reach new and wider audiences, while improving advertising relevancy for its shoppers.

The UK’s leading convenience retailer has launched the Co-op Media Network to bring together Co-op’s in-house team and its long-term agency partner Threefold – an SMG agency who are the largest operator of retail media networks in the UK – under one recognisable brand identity.

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

Kenyatte Nelson, Chief Membership & Customer Officer at Co-op, said: “This is a momentous move for Co-op and one that will solidify our position in the retail media sector. Co-op is a leader in the convenience market and we will use our strengths to replicate our successes as a media owner.”

“Co-op’s nationwide network of frequently-shopped, smaller stores drives increased opportunities to see for 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.”

Samuel Knights, CEO at SMG, shared: “This moment marks a true evolution in Co-op’s media capabilities. 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.

“As the importance of retail media continues to grow within the broader marketing mix for brands, SMG’s proprietary software product, Plan-Apps, will help brands investing in Co-op Media Network to gain a comprehensive understanding of performance and measure the high ROI that convenience media can drive. We’re so excited to see this come to life.”

The evolved capabilities of the newly formed Co-op Media Network Group will enable brands to have advanced opportunities to connect their goods and services to interested Co-op shoppers in offsite digital media channels. Enabling brand advertisers to improve their media efficiency by focusing their advertising spend on shoppers that are more likely to engage with their products.

As the second most-visited grocer in the country, the convenience retailer has a nationwide footprint with almost 2,400 convenience stores across the UK, a rapid delivery ecommerce business, an insurance arm and a loyal customer base.

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