Sam’s Club has named Lex Josephs, who leads sales and ad tech partnerships for Walmart Connect, to head its Media Group as the club store looks to step from the shadow of its big corporate sibling to build its own data-fueled media business.
Josephs will make the move effective Jan. 1 after more than three years at Walmart, where she helped unify what had been a sometimes disjointed operation and win support from the retailer’s powerful merchandising executives.
Walmart Connect has grown rapidly—doubling revenue last year, with two-year growth of 240% as of the fiscal third quarter. But Chief Member Officer Tony Rogers said Sam’s Club Media Group is also among the fastest-growing media platforms in the U.S., tripling its own business in the past two years and increasing its number of advertisers from 200 to 350.
Now Sam’s Club is looking to further fuel that growth by, among other things, preparing to launch its own demand-side platform in partnership with The Trade Desk, similar to what Walmart Connect did earlier this year, Rogers said.
“Brands will be able to take the audience they’ve identified with us and export that to advertising other places on the web," Rogers said.
Sam’s also recently moved its supplier data platform from a system operated by NielsenIQ to IRI Liquid Data, which previously handled data for Sam’s Media Group. That gives suppliers and advertisers a single platform to manage sales, merchandising, supply chain and media data, Rogers said.
“You’ve got in one place all the analytics about how your business is doing and then an ability to go create target audiences and an ad campaign to drive your business further,” he said.
Sam’s Club had U.S. sales of $63.9 billion last year, less than a fifth the size of Walmart’s $370 billion. But as a standalone entity it would be a top 10 U.S. retailer in its own right, based National Retail Federation data.