Australian Retail Giant Woolworths Expands In-House Digital OOH Business Via $150M Cash Buy Of Shopper Media

July 22, 2022 by Dave Haynes

Digital OOH networks of all different stripes have been trying for 20-plus years now to find a successful model for working with big retailers, so it’s an interesting twist when a big retailer buys a DOOH network to then roll into its own media operations.

That’s the story behind the Australian wing of supermarket giant Woolworths paying $150 million AUD to acquire the targeted advertising company Shopper Media. The deal, through Woolworths’ retail media business unit Cartology, gives the retailer more than 2,000 advertising screens in 400 shopping centres across the country.

The cash deal gives Woolworths 100% interest in the media company, which was started in 2015. 

Cartology managing director Mike Tyquin says the deal would accelerate the subsidiary’s goal in becoming the “trusted media partner of choice for brands and retailers.”

Woolworths started Cartology three years ago as a retail media business that offers brands advertising opportunities across its stores as well as in its company-owned magazine. It also has a majority stake in a data science company, used to analyze and develop insights on things such as purchase data.

There are exceptions, but most of the history with in-store and shopping mall media is third-party ad network companies doing deals to install their screens, at their own cost, in targeted environments like stores (such as at the checkouts) or in high traffic aisles and concourses. UK big box giant Tesco also operates in-store displays, and Westfield is evolving into a media owner with its many high-end malls.

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