Groceryshop, the two-year-old retail tech conference that has brought new life to a near-dead grocery industry trade-show field, has been sold to a London events company.
Hyve Group PLC is acquiring Groceryshop, along with the Shoptalk conference it was spun off from, from its founders for $145 million.
The events, which focus on the convergence of technology and retail, have become leading trade conferences in a short period of time. Shoptalk held its first event in 2016 and spun off Groceryshop in 2018. Both shows, held annually in Las Vegas, have become “must-attend” content-driven events, according to Hyve Group, which said it intended to replicate the events in other locations and integrate the shows’ hosted meeting software into other events.
Shoptalk was founded by Anil D. Aggarwal and Simran Rekhi Aggarwal, the former of whom was a digital payment entrepreneur who previously founded the Money 20/20 conference and other events associated with technology disrupting legacy businesses.
Grocery trade shows—most focused on buying opportunities—have largely faded in prominence over the years as trade practices evolved. Groceryshop, however, drew more than 3,000 attendees at its most recent event in September, combining content tracks and a trade show focused on technology solutions.
Shoptalk, which is focused on the broader retail industry, draws more than 5,000 attendees annually. That show made headlines recently when it said its next event in March would consist entirely of women speakers and presenters.
Hyve operates 130 events worldwide for the food, fashion, logistics, travel and technology fields. Its food events include WorldFood Moscow, according to its website.
“This acquisition continues our evolution into a best-in-class portfolio of market-leading events. We see multiple areas of growth from these events, including future geo-clone opportunities and leveraging their best of breed hosted buyer strategy, using their bespoke software on selected Hyve events,” Hyve Group CEO Mark Shashoua said in a statement.
“Anil and Simran have a strong track record of building world-class events, and I look forward to working with them again as we integrate these incredible events into our portfolio,” he added.
“Shoptalk and Groceryshop are widely regarded as the best conferences in the retail, grocery and consumer packaged goods industries, and have established influential new standards for the events industry in areas ranging from ground-breaking original content to unprecedented networking programs,” Anil Aggarwal said in a statement. “Hyve is the only new home we considered for these events, because it shares a common culture and approach to investing and developing products that consistently exceed customer expectations. Hyve’s global portfolio of market-leading events will provide the best platform for growth for our events in the long term.”
Shoptalk launched in May 2016. It focuses on the growing e-commerce segment that is disrupting the U.S. retail industry, and it has created a need for content-rich, change-focused events, Hyve said, adding there is “proven scope for geo-clones” following the successful staging of Shoptalk Europe in 2017.