Every one to two months, a new retail media network is born, according to a recent report from Merkle, the Dentsu-owned performance marketing agency. Now, Albertsons is joining the fast-growing trend as the grocer recognizes the value its shopper data has for advertisers. The Boise, Idaho-based company recently recruited Kristi Argyilan, former president of Target’s media business Roundel, as senior VP of retail media. She’s tasked with building a retail business for Albertsons, the parent behind chains such as Safeway and Acme.
Why Albertsons is starting its own retail media network
“There’s a late mover advantage,” said Argyilan, speaking on the most recent episode of the Marketer’s Brief podcast. “Now we can design a retail media network knowing what Apple is going to do and knowing the cookie is going away and knowing how to do this in a way that is data privacy compliant.”
Albertsons joins a growing list of retailers including Lowe’s, Macy's and Walgreens getting into the business. Retail media networks, which offer digital advertising, are an evolution of the shopper marketing of yesterday, where ads were restricted to fewer options, like paper circulars and in-store displays.
“It’s a growth lever for retailers, something all of their manufacturer partners—their vendor partners—are looking for,” said Argyilan. “Consumers are embracing the types of programs we’re putting out to the world because it’s based on what we see groups of consumer audiences starting to respond to. We’re giving them the information, or the promotion or the inspiration that they’re looking for.”
On the podcast, Argyilan also discusses how Albertsons is navigating rising prices and changing consumer behavior during the holiday season. “The idea here is to continue to be flexible and offer all of the different ways that people are wanting to shop us and just continue to acknowledge that people are going to be looking for convenience,” she said.
Albertsons is paying close attention to the supply chain and making sure the company is ready to react if necessary to any product shortages. “Even if there are gaps in the supply chain, it’s making sure we continue to drive great choice for consumers, and that comes from the right product mix. How do we use our owned brands to fill in any gaps that we might be seeing from a national brand and vice versa,” she added.