Feb. 11, 2014
The Kroger Co. today announced it has purchased the assets of YOU Technology Brand Services Inc., a Silicon Valley-based provider of digital coupons and promotions.
Founded in 2008, YOU Tech's retailer-centric, cloud-based platform bridges the gap between online engagement and in-store purchases, creating a measurable way for many of the world's largest retailers and brands to drive consumer purchase decisions online, in-store, and on-the-go, according to the companies. Its network, which includes www.kroger.com/digitalcoupons, now includes over 10,000 retail stores representing over $100 billion in retail sales and 100 million U.S. households. YOU Tech said it will continue to serve existing and future retail customers. Financial terms of the transaction, which closed today, were not disclosed.
"YOU Tech's nimble and innovative digital coupon platform has enabled Kroger to deliver hundreds of millions of digital coupons to Kroger customers," said Jeff Talbot, Kroger's vice president of customer loyalty. "This is a good strategic fit for both Kroger and YOU Tech. This transaction is consistent with our digital customer growth plan and provides Kroger a significant opportunity to expand our presence in Silicon Valley, enhancing our exposure to new technologies. YOU Tech will benefit from Kroger's strong balance sheet as it continues to expand its digital platform to many other retailers and CPG partners."
Kroger's accelerated growth strategy includes targeted capital investments to increase its store base and square footage in both new and existing markets, and to strengthen its connection with customers through the growing digital and mobile channels, the company said.
Customer use of digital coupons has accelerated exponentially over the past several years. Kroger began offering digital coupons in late 2009 and reached 500 million digital coupon downloads about 3 years later. Customers have downloaded more than 400 million more digital coupons in just the last 12 months, demonstrating their growing popularity and frequency of use.
YOU Technology will operate as an independent company within the Kroger family. The company currently serves approximately two dozen retailer clients operating 65 store banners.
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