ShopHero, the Provo, Utah-based e-commerce provider serving as a white-label partner to hundreds of independent grocers in the U.S. and Canada, has been acquired by food redistributor Dot Foods in a move ShopHero’s CEO said would solidify its commitment as a partner to independent grocery clients.
“Yesterday we were a startup,” Matt Garner, CEO of the six-year-old ShopHero, told WGB in an interview. “Now we’re here to stay.”
“I’m excited that we're in a position to continue to deliver on our promises, not only in the year to come, but for many years to come,” Garner continued. “We recognize our retailers are generational businesses, and they expect that their partners understand that and can be positioned in the same way.”
Dot Foods, based in Mount Sterling, Ill., is a 60-year-old food redistributor that provides “less than truckload” quantities of food to distributors and processors. ShopHero came to Dot’s attention through a platform consultancy firm called Appilco, which helped Dot identify innovations that could ultimately help its clients.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“They have a focus on innovating, and they looked for organizations that can complement their business and strengthen their current partners,” Garner said of Dot. “It does seem like an unusual partnership, but they did a lot of investigation in terms of ways they could strengthen their partners, who in the end, are our customers.”
Garner said the deal in the near term would provide additional resources to help ShopHero upgrade its technologies and meet increased demand for e-commerce that boomed during the pandemic, but its also sets the stage for further innovations. He said it was too early to discuss those plans in detail, but said they would involve bringing together Dot’s logistics skills and ShopHero’s retail expertise to provide new features and capabilities.
“Our customers are not just in the food business but in the business of providing customer service,” Garner said. “Their main asset is their brand, which is often their family name, and they are often the second, third or fourth generation operators of that brand.
“What I saw in Dot was a company with a track record of looking after the little guy and keeping their promises,” he added. “I felt confident joining with a company that five years from now, or 10 years from now, or 50 years from now, will still be there to maintain the promise I made to care for their brand and to help them build their business.”
“We love the ShopHero business model,” Joe Tracy, Dot Foods’ CEO, said in a statement. “At Dot, we’re always looking for innovative solutions, and that’s exactly what ShopHero delivers every day. They are experts in retail grocery e-commerce solutions, and help their customers compete in an evolving, more digital retail environment. Their technology and integration capabilities impressed us right away. We’re excited about working together to make ShopHero an even stronger, bigger player in this market.”
ShopHero offers what it calls a turn-key solution providing a customized, locally-branded e-commerce platform that includes web presence, a mobile app, and access to expanded online shopping options.
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