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Independent retailers are the next frontier of retail media

I was elated to take the stage at P2PI LIVE on Nov. 8 to share insights about what we at Threefold envision as the next frontier of retail media in the US: independent retailers.

Managing Director Sean Crawford behind a lectern at P2PI LIVE.
Managing Director Sean Crawford speaks at P2PI LIVE.

It’s such an exciting time to be involved in retail media, as it dominates headlines and marketing channel reports. Retail media is anticipated to reach more than $100 billion in global spend by 2027 when it’s also predicted to surpass linear TV.

Done well, retail media offers an unparalleled opportunity for brands to target distinct groups of shoppers with precision accuracy, influencing their behavior throughout the shopper journey right up until the point of purchase. Most importantly, it enables brands to get a clear picture of the impact of their spend. For retailers, retail media offers the chance to create memorable and meaningful experiences for consumers while simultaneously serving as a valuable opportunity for margin enhancement.

Over the past couple of years, the Threefold team has attended and hosted numerous retail media-focused events. As we continue to build our knowledge in this space and share our UK learnings with our US peers, we’ve noticed one huge gap in US retail media at these independent stores.

There’s a massive, untapped opportunity here for retailers, brands and shoppers in these over 21,000 independent grocery retailers and on their platforms.

Here’s why:

  1. Huge reach: 2 in 3 US shoppers visit some form of independent grocery retailer.

  2. Diversity of shopper: Independent retailers offer the chance to target harder-to-reach demographics in a cost-effective way.

  3. Loyalty: 52% of US consumers prefer shopping at their local neighborhood grocery stores.

Our UK data from our Plan-Apps suite shows us strong retail media performance for independent grocers, growing ROI year-over-year. This comes as traditional channels – TV – become less effective on their own, as shopper behavior shifts and more consumers discover products in stores on retailers’ websites and apps.

We’re calling our effort to bring robust retail media to these stores addressing the unaddressable. For us, this is all about reaching those shoppers at independent retail. We believe this is imperative because of the huge reach and scale these independent retailers have. If you aren’t activating in these stores or talking to these customers, you’re missing a massive market.

How do we approach this?

  1. Ease of access is fundamental to addressing the unaddressable.

  2. Omnichannel presence is key to reaching these shoppers.

  3. Objective-led, customer-centric media planning that understands the shopper.

  4. Robust measurement proposition reporting on incrementality, delivering better performance over time.

We’re so excited to continue to share more about our effort to reach these shoppers in the coming weeks and months. Are you an independent retailer looking to supercharge your retail media strategy? Are you a brand that wants to better target omnichannel shopping missions? We can help. Drop us a line at

About Threefold

Founded in 2008, Threefold is the world's leading Retail Media Network (RMN) specialist, headquartered in both London and New York. As part of the SMG agency network, which employs over 250 retail media experts, Threefold's primary mission is to unlock incremental CPG budgets, curate media campaigns that supercharge sales and elevate its retail partners into top-tier omnichannel media owners, spanning in-store, offsite and online.

Threefold's services include consultancy, evaluation, and a white-label in-house solution that has seen the agency build, run and operate over 10 Retail Media Networks to date. In the UK, Threefold runs and operates Walgreens' Boots Media Group and Morrisons Media Group, and additional live partners include major retailers like The Co-op, Signet Group and The Very Group.


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