Kroger has upped the ante on its efforts to incorporate digital media into its giant grocery business with the acquisition of YOU Technology Brand Services, a Silicon Valley-based startup.
YOU Technology is in the digital coupon and promotions business, using a retailer-centric, cloud-based platform that bridges the gap between online engagement and in-store purchases.
Its network, which includes www.kroger.com/digitalcoupons, has grown dramatically and now includes over 10,000 retail stores representing over $100 billion in retail sales and 100 million U.S. households.
YOU Tech will continue to serve existing and future retail customers. Financial terms of the transaction, which closed today (Feb. 12) were not disclosed.
"YOU Tech's nimble and innovative digital coupon platform has enabled Kroger to deliver hundreds of millions of digital coupons to Kroger customers," said Jeff Talbot, Kroger's vice president of customer loyalty.
He said the deal is a good strategic fit for both Kroger and YOU Tech.
“This transaction is consistent with our digital customer growth plan and provides Kroger a significant opportunity to expand our presence in Silicon Valley, enhancing our exposure to new technologies. YOU Tech will benefit from Kroger's strong balance sheet as it continues to expand its digital platform to many other retailers and CPG partners." he said.
Based in California, YOU Technology LLC will operate as an independent company within the Kroger family. The company currently serves approximately two dozen retailer clients operating 65 store banners.
Cheryl Black, YOU Tech's CEO, said through its partnership with Kroger it looks forward to working with other retailers and consumer package goods (CPG) companies to drive future sales growth.