Co-op, the UK’s leading convenience retailer, has unveiled the Co-op Media Network, marking the country’s inaugural retail media network in the convenience sector.

The initiative aims to assist brands in reaching broader audiences while enhancing advertising relevancy for Co-op shoppers.

The Co-op Media Network brings together the in-house team of Co-op and its long-term agency partner Threefold, an SMG agency renowned as the largest operator of retail media networks in the UK.

This collaboration operates under a single recognisable brand identity, streamlining efforts for a more cohesive and impactful approach.

Capitalising on Co-op’s strengths

Kenyatte Nelson, chief membership and customer officer at Co-op, emphasised the move as a pivotal one, solidifying Co-op’s position in the retail media sector.

The initiative leverages Co-op’s strengths such as the extensive scale of its operations and the distinctive nature of convenience shopping, setting it apart from traditional large-scale retailers.

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According to Nelson, Co-op’s widespread network of smaller stores, frequently visited by shoppers, presents increased opportunities for brands’ advertising campaigns.

The impulsive nature of convenience shopping missions creates untapped occasions for brands to boost their sales.

Nelson highlighted the distinct purchasing occasions between convenience and supermarket shopping, asserting that brands can reap greater benefits by strategically executing media against both.

Revolutionising Co-op’s media capabilities

Samuel Knights, CEO at SMG, hailed the launch as a true evolution in Co-op’s media capabilities. He highlighted the growing opportunity for brands to strategically connect with a unique group of convenience shoppers, ensuring precise communication of the right messages to the right customers.

As retail media gains prominence within the broader marketing mix for brands, Knights noted that SMG’s proprietary software product, Plan-Apps, will aid brands investing in Co-op Media Network.

The tool aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of performance, enabling measurement of the high return on investment that convenience media can deliver.

Enhanced opportunities for brands and Co-op shoppers

The Co-op Media Network Group’s evolved capabilities offer advanced opportunities for brands to connect their products and services with interested Co-op shoppers through offsite digital media channels.

This approach enables brand advertisers to enhance media efficiency by focusing advertising spending on shoppers more likely to engage with their products.

As the second most-visited grocer in the country, Co-op’s nationwide footprint encompasses almost 2,400 convenience stores, a rapid delivery e-commerce business, an insurance arm, and a loyal customer base.

The launch of the Co-op Media Network positions the retailer to play a significant role in reshaping the landscape of retail media in the convenience sector.