Wakefern, MediaCart, Microsoft to Offer Targeted POS Advertising

KEASBY, N.J. -- Wakefern Food Corp. here, along with MediaCart Holdings and Microsoft Corp. said yesterday at the National Retail Federation's 97th Annual Convention & Expo, in New York, that Wakefern will pilot MediaCart's next-generation computerized shopping carts for potential rollout to all ShopRite stores.

An early pilot conducted in ShopRite stores yielded both consumer and retailer insights that were incorporated into the next-generation product. The nine-month pilot with Wakefern started in spring 2007. Microsoft's Atlas Division will provide video ad serving on the MediaCart grocery cart screen, offering advertisers the chance to reach shoppers at the point of purchase.

"Through the powerful combination of Microsoft and MediaCart, we are providing our customers with a cutting-edge shopping experience, unmatched in the industry," said Wakfern chairman and c.e.o. Joseph Colalillo in a statement.

"In working with companies like MediaCart, we're continuing to push the envelope in the digital advertising realm to enable...innovative ways for advertisers and agencies to create brand loyalty and engage with their target audiences in a highly relevant, measurable, and targeted way," noted Scott Ferris, general manager of the Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group at Microsoft. "Digital advertising opportunities are expanding rapidly into new areas, as many of consumers' daily activities, such as shopping, become increasingly 'connected,' and Microsoft is committed to working with advertisers and agencies to take advantage of these opportunities as they unfold."

By employing Microsoft technologies, the MediaCart solution will allow anonymous ad targeting through data obtained through ShopRite's customer loyalty card program. A shopper could scan her card at the MediaCart, and get ads and promotional offers based on past purchases and/or saved shopping lists that could be uploaded from a home computer. No personally identifiable information will be shared with Microsoft, MediaCart, or any advertiser as part of the ad-serving process. The technology will additionally provide advertisers with reporting and analytics capabilities to evaluate the ads' performance in the stores.

As well as receiving ads, shoppers will be able to save time and money with the MediaCart-enabled shopping carts by getting electronic coupons, finding items in the store, doing comparative price checks, viewing store specials in aisle as they shop, viewing recipes and nutritional information, shopping using an electronic shopping list presented in aisle order, adding up the cost of the items in their baskets prior to checkout, and expediting the checkout with the cart-level checkout feature.

"With its strong technology leadership and shopper loyalty programs, ShopRite stores are ideal for the MediaCart system, which can further leverage the valuable shopper data to improve shopper communications," said MediaCart chairman and c.e.o. David Brice.

Along with Microsoft's Atlas technologies, the MediaCart solution is built on Microsoft Windows CE and Microsoft SQL Server. Trials of the next-generation MediaCart solution are expected to begin in ShopRite stores in the second half of 2008.

The largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, Wakefern Food Corp. consists of 44 members who individually own and operate supermarkets under the ShopRite banner. Wakefern, the merchandising and distribution arm of the company, and the 200 ShopRite stores in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware, employ over 47,000 people.
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