Merchant Distributors LLC (MDI), a division of Alex Lee Inc., which also is parent of Winston-Salem, N.C.-headquartered grocer Lowe's Foods, has partnered with marketing agency SparkShoppe for its shopper and digital marketing services. The grocery distributor joins Northeastern grocer Price Chopper/Market 32 as one of the Albany, N.Y.-based agency's clients.
“MDI needed a turnkey solution for shopper marketing for the 600-plus stores that we service,” said Tom Hutchison, who leads marketing, services and innovation at MDI. “Nothing of this scale has ever been done within the independent grocery channel. This is a first, and together with SparkShoppe, we will be able to deliver significant shopper marketing and sales value for both independent retailers and the brands. We continue to seek out partners and solutions that enable MDI and our retailers to compete with large chains and focus on the consumer.”
MDI, headquartered in Hickory, N.C., supplies food and nonfood products to retail food stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. It celebrated its 85th anniversary last September.
Originally an initiative within the marketing department at Price Chopper/Market 32, SparkShoppe developed in response to the growing need for shopper and digital marketing at brand level, across the broader supermarket channel, and in cross-industry applications. It brings a comprehensive marketing solution to its clients, including retail marketing strategy development, shopper and digital marketing, brand management, content management strategy development, consumer insights, and multicultural marketing.