The Kroger Co. is entering into a strategic partnership with retailer-brand intermediary Inmar that will include the sale of Kroger's YouTech digital-coupon publishing unit to the company.
The partnership also includes a long-term service agreement by which Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Inmar will provide digital offer management services to Kroger, which has owned YouTech since 2014. Based in Brisbane, Calif., YouTech's platform has processed more than 8 billion digital offer downloads to date. Its retail clients include banners such as Raley's, ShopRite, Sprouts, Big Y and Harps, according to YouTech's website.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Cincinnati-based retailer is handing off the technology as it seeks alternative sources of revenue while focusing on investment in digital sales platforms such as click-and-collect and its Kroger Ship replenishment business. CEO Rodney McMullen told analysts during a conference call discussing its third-quarter results earlier this month that these platforms give customers "the ability to have anything, anytime, anywhere from Kroger, and because they are a catalyst to grow our business and build margins in the future."
Yael Cosset, Kroger's chief digital officer, said the "combination of Kroger's unique assets and personalization expertise and Inmar's technology solutions now with YouTech will drive more innovation and value for Kroger customers and CPG partners," adding that YouTech will also have the opportunity to expand its retailer relationships "outside of Kroger and its portfolio of capabilities."
Inmar Chairman and CEO David Mounts affirmed that the acquisition will enhance the company's ability to drive loyalty and growth through better digital content and broaden its distribution network as Inmar works with Kroger "to bring high-quality digital offers to its customers."