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How Threefold's experts revolutionized Co-op's Retail Media Network

Andy Murray, Dean Harris and Lee LeFeuvre take the stage at NRF '24: Retail's Big Show.
Andy Murray, Dean Harris and Lee LeFeuvre take the stage at NRF '24: Retail's Big Show.

Dean Harris, Head of Retail Media & Member Rewards at Co-op, took the stage at NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show with Threefold Chief Commercial Officer Lee LeFeuvre on Jan. 13 to discuss the evolution of Co-op’s retail media offering since it partnered with Threefold in 2017.

Ahead of Dean’s on-stage appearance, he and the Threefold team visited several New York City retailers to get a first-hand look at how retail media comes to life in-store in the US. What’d he find? A lot of potential.

“There’s nothing more immersive than being in a grocery shop wanting to buy groceries,” Dean said. “If you can dress the store to create that theater, you’ll sell more products in that moment and have a brand impact that will last much longer than that post-sales impact.”

For retailers, successful omnichannel retail media unlocks brand dollars that enable an additional revenue stream. For brands, retail media campaigns offer long-term sales beyond the retailer where a retail media campaign was activated, Dean said.

Before Threefold and Co-op joined forces, CPG brands had lost confidence in its retail media offering for various reasons, including poor in-store campaign compliance across its fleet of over 2,500 stores and a limited toolkit.

“None of the ads ever went up,” Dean said. “The performance wasn't really catered for; brand objectives were not catered for. When we brought Threefold in as a partner, it flipped it on its head. We went shopper-centric, made sure we paid attention to brand goals and sought after operational excellence.”

Since its Threefold partnership began, Co-op has grown its annual ad revenue from $11 million to more than $25.3 million last year and increased campaign compliance to more than 80%.

We couldn’t be happier to have played such a pivotal role in Co-op’s retail media evolution.

How’d we do it?

Straight away, Threefold’s retail media experts implemented our test vs. control methodology to enable brands to see the true impact of their retail media campaigns. We introduced new tools for brands, including email marketing, digital offsite, e-commerce and activations through delivery partners. Above all else, Threefold introduced 45 new channels and consistently grew touchpoints available to brand marketers.

Co-op's Retail Media Evolution

In 2021, we changed the game by introducing at Co-op our proprietary Plan-Apps suite of commerce marketing tools that streamline the campaign evaluation and planning process. Plan-Apps connects retailers and suppliers to plan, manage and analyze retail media effectively.

In recent years, we’ve focused on the rich data retail media provides, and in 2023 we evolved Co-op’s loyalty program, digital coupons and enabled personalized offers for shoppers.

The numbers are clear and promising. Data from Plan-Apps shows that data-backed omnichannel campaigns that leverage both in-store and digital touchpoints lead to the greatest returns for retailers and brands.

Data-backed omnichannel campaigns drive results

On average, live and post-campaign ROI has increased for featured SKUs at Co-op every year since 2021, as we’ve focused on omnichannel campaigns.

What makes a good retail media campaign? On stage at NRF, Dean showed two best-in-class examples.

  • Ben & Jerry’s Sunny Honey Home: Threefold worked collaboratively with Co-op and Unilever to execute an omnichannel campaign that consisted of large-store takeovers, eye-catching window vinyls, bespoke aisle-length floor stickers and roadshows.

  • We extended the campaign online via Deliveroo, with a retailer tile takeover, online coupon and cross-platform activation.

  • Above all else, this campaign addressed the fact that the shopper journey is not linear and that we must reach shoppers in the right place, at the right time, wherever they may be.

In-store takeover: Ben & Jerry's

Threefold and Co-op took a similar approach for a 2023 holiday campaign that brought together 120 brands, including Mondelēz, Unilever, Diageo and The Coca-Cola Company.

  • The campaign saw a 66% increase in brand investment year-over-year.

  • We executed the campaign using in-store touchpoints that included aisle-length takeovers, 3D pop-ups and digital check-out screens.

  • Activations in-store tied into digital channels, such as competitions and in-app offers, reaching shoppers across the full path to purchase.

We at Threefold know there are major opportunities for retailers in the US and Canada to unlock the true value of retail media in-store.

While Dean said the UK could learn from the US when it came to in-store navigation and merchandising, it stood to level up its in-store retail media. In-store prompts, queues and nudges from brands that lead the shopper to purchase were largely absent, he said.

It's a wasted space where you can help the shopper. If the shopper is helped then they’ll probably buy more because you’re making things easier for them.
There’s more shoppers in stores in America, more sales in-store in America, more media space in-store, and why don’t you add it all up and create an improved shopper experience?
- Dean Harris, Head of Retail Media & Membership, Co-op

We agree. Ready to chat about how Threefold can supercharge your retail media? Drop us a line at

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About Threefold

Founded in 2008, Threefold is the world's leading Retail Media Network (RMN) specialist, headquartered in both New York and London. 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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