DOOH Network Targeting US Grocery Shoppers Adds 4,000 Screens In US Northeast

January 13, 2022 by Dave Haynes

The advertising screens in the grocery checkout lane thing has been around 20 years or more, and never seemingly had a lot of success … but an Austin, Texas start-up called Grocery TV appears to be getting traction.

The company has announced a deal to add some 4,000 displays in a series of northeast US supermarkets such as ShopRite, Price Rite, Price Chopper, and Ideal Food Basket, and says it expects to add another 8,000 in 2022. The screens, which sit atop the impulse buy rack where grocers put things like chocolate bars, chewing gum and lip moisturizers, are now in all 50 U.S. states.

The company website is not terribly clear – at least wasn’t in my clicking around – as to how many screens it has in total, but it had about 6,000 last fall. So adding 4,000 with this deal and another 8,000 through this year would get it to 18,000. If you factor (guessing) an average of 10 screens per store, that would be some 1,800 stores. There are more than 60,000 groceries and supermarkets in the US, so there is considerable room to grow and, arguably, to reach critical mass for the media planners who work with major CPG brands.

The company partners with major grocery wholesalers to build its footprint, and uses DOOH supply-side and demand-side programmatic platforms to sell screen time. I am also not clear if this network is using the familiar build-it-and-they-will-come model that sees a DOOH operator put the screens in and run them on its own nickel, or if retail grocers have any “skin” in the game through capital or operating budgets (doubt it).

This format and approach has always puzzled me because the checkout lane is very late in the game for influencing purchases, at least in that grocery visit. Shoppers are in line and quite possibly in the process of getting their goods scanned by a cashier, so they’re not likely to abandon that process and head back to the aisles to pick up something that they just saw on the screen. With both LCD and LED screen options available now to fit at eye-level right in store aisles, that would seem to be the more impactful location for screens.

However, Grocery TV has research it says backs up its effectiveness, noting double-digit sales lifts on things like Kit Kat chocolate bars and Extra gum. It helps, of course, that those are items sold right there, below the screen.

As mentioned at the top, the screens at the checkout tactic has been around a long time. One of the originators – possibly THE originator, along with a long-gone company called NGN – was Premier Retail Networks, or PRN. That company had screens all over US Walmarts 15-20 years ago. PRN is now owned by STRATACACHE and still has product out there called Checkout TV. I’m not sure how active it is, though, as the sales PDF references 2010 research.

This is a poorly Photoshop’d image of the Walmart checkout network from the past. If you look closely, everything merchandised costs $00.00, so the sales lift numbers for those screens would have been off the charts high ;-]


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