News Briefs


CitrusAd Unlocks Keyword Bidding

CitrusAd Teaser

The CitrusAd campaign dashboard has always transparently shown which keywords were working best for each advertising campaign, with visibility into share of voice and percent of impressions won. Now, however, marketers can include separate bid strategies on each keyword all within one campaign, simplifying campaign creation and consolidating campaign management. The retail tech company expects the rollout of the new feature to its platform to go live in June.

Brands and agencies will now be able to run campaigns on CitrusAd and optimize based on the performance of selected keywords. This is the first in a series of platform enhancements that CitrusAd is rolling out to help brands and advertisers easily create and manage campaigns while also increasing effectiveness with meaningful and relevant reach.

[Read more: “CitrusAd Partners With New On-Site Shoppable Video Platform”]

"CitrusAd is delighted to bring this easy and intuitive way for marketers to optimize their campaigns," said Adam Skinner, managing director, retail media networks, at St. Petersburg, Fla.-based CitrusAd. "While a campaign may have had a CPC bid across the board initially, it was incredibly clear on our platform that some keywords are more valuable to marketers than others. The new bid-by-keyword capability allows marketers to weight their campaigns by the most effective keywords for profitable results.”

CitrusAd is a retail media company and part of Epsilon, a global advertising and marketing technology company. Retailers across the globe rely on CitrusAd to help grow retail media as a core function for incremental media revenue and sales volume that delivers ideal ROI for brands


Storewise Receives Major Growth Investment from Nexa Equity

storewise teaser

Storewise, a provider of retail automation software for independent grocers, has revealed a majority investment from private equity firm Nexa Equity LLC. Storewise’s existing management team will continue to lead the business. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Storewise’s software platform enables grocery operators to streamline operations such as price optimization, supply chain and risk management. Automating and optimizing business processes has become critical for independent grocery store operators to be competitive with big-box retailers. 

[Read more: “Storewise, Truno Partner to Offer Operational Control for Independent Grocers”]

The company plans to use Nexas investment to further support its customer base, develop new products and accelerate go-to-market efforts. Storewise and Nexa Equity will partner closely to implement software best practices and execute strategic acquisitions to bolster the functionality of the software platform.

“We’re dedicated to supporting an industry critical to our nation’s economy by building a unified software platform that helps independent grocers operate more profitably and efficiently,” said Christopher Greco, president and CEO of Overland Park, Kan.-based Storewise. “We’re excited to have found a likeminded growth partner in Nexa Equity that shares our core values and will help accelerate our vision. The pace at which Storewise is being adopted and the positive results grocers are experiencing let us know that we’re on the right track.”

Storewise is rapidly expanding and currently serves more than 700 stores.‍

Vlad Besprozvany, founder and managing partner of San Francisco-based Nexa, noted: “We are thrilled to back Chris and the Storewise team to drive transformation in the independent grocery industry. We’ve been thoroughly impressed by what the Storewise team has built to date and believe that by further investing in product development and strategic M&A, Storewise will be even better positioned to deliver value to independent grocers.”

Storewise is Nexas fifth platform investment.


AFS to Transform Distribution Center With AI

AFS Teaser

Associated Food Stores (AFS), a grocery wholesaler that works with independent retailers, and Salt Lake City-based Symbotic Inc., a provider of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled robotics technology for the supply chain, have entered into a commercial agreement to implement Symbotic’s AI-powered robotic warehouse automation technology in AFS’ Utah distribution center.

Symbotic’s end-to-end automation system, with robotic case pick capabilities, will allow AFS’ distribution center to improve a variety of retail-facing experiences, including overall supply, expanded selection and delivery of products to stores, to accommodate future growth.

[Read more: “Utah Welcomes 2 New Indies”]

“While very important, a modernized distribution system is not just about automation and technology, but also about optimizing processes and empowering people. It’s a strategic investment that can increase efficiency and enhance our ability to service our member retailers,” said Roger White, EVP and COO at AFS.

“We believe implementing the Symbotic system creates great opportunities for our distribution center team members to grow their skill sets and expand their future opportunities with the company,” stressed Glen Keysaw, AFS’ VP of distribution. “Due to the proactive efforts of our management team, all current team members at the distribution center will have jobs going forward and the distribution center will continue supporting current and future independent grocers throughout the Intermountain West.”

Salt Lake City-based AFS is an independent retailer-owned warehouse that provides complete warehouse facilities and services to more than 400 grocers across the Intermountain West. 


Trader Joe’s Adds Another Suncoast Location in Florida

Trader Joe's Teaser

Another Trader Joe’s is coming to the Sarasota area in Florida. The California-based retailer revealed it is working on a new location to service a growing population in that market.

The latest store at 8473 Cooper Creek Boulevard in University Park is expected to open later this year. No specific opening date was shared.

[Read more: "Trader Joe’s Employees Mark Unionization Win in California"]

Trader Joe’s already operates a store in the city of Sarasota, in addition to locations in nearby St. Petersburg and Tampa. The planned site in University Park will be the 23rd Trader Joe’s in Florida.

On May 5, the grocer opened its latest U.S. outpost in Cypress, Calif. As the retailer expands its footprint, it is also rolling out its latest seasonal items, including summer-inspired jalapeno limeade, patio potato chips and tomato ketchup with black summer truffle, to name a few.

With more than 500 stores in 40-plus states, Trader Joe’s is No. 27 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company as one of its Retailers of the Century.


Grocery Tech Providers Pool Efforts for Greater Personalization


E-commerce solutions provider Mercatus has teamed up with U.K.-based SaaS tech company Eagle Eye to enhance grocers’ digital offerings with more targeted digital promotions. The collaboration allows retailers to leverage Eagle Eye’s consumer engagement platform and Mercatus’ platform for real-time, actionable customer data.

That kind of information leads to tailored shopper experiences that ultimately build loyalty, according to company leaders. “By partnering with Eagle Eye, we are able to offer our clients cutting-edge customer engagement solutions that will revolutionize their e-commerce experiences and help them stay ahead of the competition,” declared Sylvain Perrier, president and CEO of the Toronto-headquartered Mercatus.

[Read more: "Mercatus Rebuilds Mobile Commerce App for Grocers"]

Echoed Tim Mason, Eagle Eye’s CEO: “We are excited to collaborate with Mercatus and bring our customer engagement solutions to their impressive roster of grocery clients. Together, we will enable grocery retailers to build deeper connections with their customers and capitalize on the rapidly evolving first-party e-commerce landscape.”

Going forward, the companies will explore new ways to leverage their combined expertise and technology offerings to drive growth and create value for their clients. Mercatus, for its part, offers a digital commerce platform used by retailers including Weis Markets, Save Mart brands, Brookshire’s Grocery Co., Kowalski’s Markets, Buehler’s Fresh Foods, WinCo Foods, Smart & Final, Stater Bros. Markets, Southeastern Grocers’ Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores among others. Eagle Eye’s current customer base includes Southeastern Grocers, Giant Eagle, Loblaw, Woolworths, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, among others.


Talking Rain Taps Coca-Cola Vet for Key Role

Talking Rain Beverage Exec Teaser

Talking Rain Beverage Co., with a portfolio that includes the Sparkling Ice line of drinks, has named Katie Giesler as VP of sales, national accounts. She will oversee a team that services retailers such as The Kroger Co., Albertsons Cos., Walmart, Target Corp. and others.

Most recently, Giesler led commercialization and marketing for Utah-based Swire Coca-Cola, which produces, sells and distributes Coca-Cola products in 13 states in the Western U.S. She held several roles at The Coca-Cola Co. over the years, including VP of national retail sales for Target and VP of national retail sales for the Western region, and started her career at Coca-Cola Enterprises as a district sales manager.

[Read more: "EXCLUSIVE: How PepsiCo Is Cracking the Code for 1-on-1 Customer Engagement"]

She said she hopes to take the Snoqualmie, Wash.-based beverage company to new heights during her tenure. “Talking Rain has an impressive track record of innovation, and I'm excited to be a part of the team that will continue to drive growth and success. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to strengthen relationships, build distribution, and grow our organic sales,” Giesler remarked.