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Unified Grocers' Indies Deploying inMarket's Beacon Tech

Unified Grocers has joined the inMarket Mobile to Mortar (M2M) beacon platform and will begin deploying the technology at select member stores in California and Washington later this month.

"inMarket's Mobile to Mortar beacon technology is one more way Unified is helping our retailers engage with shoppers and achieve incremental sales," said Sue Klug, SVP and CMO at Commerce, Calif.-based Unified. "It's a win-win. Shoppers benefit from information and deals sent to their mobile devices, and retailers have an effective way to increase sales."

The M2M beacon platform was developed to enable mobile apps (running on both iOS and Android devices) to detect signals from beacons in shoppers' immediate surroundings. The beacons transmit a variety of information designed to enhance customers' in-store shopping experience, including custom coupons, loyalty rewards and grocery list reminders. M2M currently reaches more than 40 million shoppers.

inMarket uses proprietary, secure beacon geofencing to provide retail with unprecedented micro-location effectiveness at scale. Partners such as Coca-Cola, Kraft, Levi's, Nestlé, and Procter & Gamble have launched hundreds of successful in-store campaigns with inMarket.

"We're empowering the best shopping apps in the world to reach consumers in new ways,” said Todd Dipaola, CEO and co-founder of Venice, Calif.-based inMarket. “Unified's members possess the spirit of entrepreneurship to move quickly and take advantage of incremental marketing dollars from brands."

Unified will demonstrate M2M at its upcoming expo buying event for its independent retailers and suppliers at the Long Beach Convention Center, June 18-19.

Beacon technology is the latest example of Unified's commitment to using technology to drive top-line sales for its members. As part of this commitment, it has hired Grant Lunde, formerly with Brookings, Ore.-based C&K Market, as manager of retail digital marketing and shopper engagement. Lunde will provide the vision to help independent grocers harness the digital channel to engage, understand and reward their shoppers.

Founded in 1922, Unified is a retailer-owned wholesale grocery distributor that supplies independent retailers throughout the western United States. Unified and its subsidiaries generated about $3.7 billion in sales during fiscal year 2013.

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