The aim of the merger of Mercatus and Stor.ai is to create a connected commerce ecosystem with solid shopper engagement, personalization and loyalty solutions scaled for retailers of all sizes.
Relationshop, a provider of digital engagement solutions for supermarkets and other retailers, has finalized a merger between two e-commerce solutions companies that work with regional grocers and independents: Mercatus Technologies, based in Toronto, and Stor.ai, operating from Tel Aviv. The newly merged company, now known as Mercatus, operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Houston-based Relationshop.
The deal combines Mercatus’ enterprise e-commerce platform with Relationshop’s ability to unify first-party data and power personalized digital engagement. Relationshop acquired Stor.ai in January 2023. The aim of the merger is to create a connected commerce ecosystem with solid shopper engagement, personalization and loyalty solutions scaled for retailers of all sizes in North America, Europe and the Middle East.
Regional grocers and independents often face stiff competition from larger national chains and mass retailers, such as Walmart. According to 2023 research conducted by Barrington, Ill.-based Brick Meets Click and sponsored by Mercatus, mass merchants surpassed supermarkets to become the main retail format that most households depended on for their grocery purchases during the month, both online and in-store.
[Read more: "How Small and Regional Grocers Can Compete With Big-Box Retailers"]
The merged company’s client base now spans more countries and continents, with 1,800-plus regional grocery chain stores in the United States and more than 400 independent grocery stores globally, including locations in the United Kingdom, France and Canada. Its supermarket customers include Albertsons, United Supermarkets, Big Y Foods, Buehler’s Fresh Foods, Vallarta Supermarkets, Stater Bros. Markets, Winn-Dixie, Weis Markets, Harvey’s Supermarkets, WinCo Foods, Strack & Van Til, and C&S Wholesale’s Piggly Wiggly Midwest.
As a result of the merger, several Mercatus executives have assumed key roles within the expanded organization.
According to Sylvain Perrier, the company’s newly appointed president of North America and global COO: “Mercatus has been at the forefront of serving the digital commerce needs of regional grocers and supermarkets for over 15 years. This merger increases our capability to deliver unprecedented value to our clients by combining our proven technology and e-commerce expertise with the innovative shopper engagement and personalization solutions from Relationshop.”
Additionally, Galen Walters, founder and CEO of Relationshop, is the new CEO of Mercatus.“The senior leadership team at Mercatus, backed by our board, is wholeheartedly devoted to advancing the connected commerce requirements of grocery retailers,” said Waters, who brings five decades of grocery retail experience to his latest role. “Grocery retailers need flexible, automated solutions capable of addressing the competitive threat posed by national chains and the loss of control that comes from relying on third-party delivery providers. As we look to the future, we are excited to join forces, enhancing our offerings to uniquely satisfy the evolving demands of supermarkets and our customers worldwide.”
Piper Sandler and Solomon Partners served as financial advisors to Relationshop and Mercatus, respectively. The companies involved have not disclosed details of the transaction.