Kroger Ups Its Digital Coupons Game With YOU Tech Acquisition



The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) announced the acquisition of YOU Technology Brand Services Tuesday, teaming up with the cloud-based platform that focuses on digital coupons and promotions. PR Newswire shared the news this week, and reported that although the transaction officially closed Tuesday, its financial terms were not disclosed.

According to PR Newswire, YOU Tech was founded in 2008 and is based in Silicon Valley. The retail-centric tech company prides itself on its cloud-based platform that helps bridge the gap between online engagement and in-store purchases, and provides retailers with a measurable way of stimulating consumer purchases online, in-store, and on-the-go. YOU Tech’s network now includes over 10,000 retail stores, and Kroger’s acquisition is not expected to upend that, as YOU Tech maintains that it will continue serving existing and future retail customers.

Kroger has been working with YOU Tech for years, drawing on the tech company’s expertise to market its digital coupons, but now it is clear that the grocer is ready to expand its relationship with the customer-centric digital company, and Jeff Talbot, Kroger’s vice president of customer loyalty explained Tuesday, via PR Newswire, ”YOU Tech’s nimble and innovative digital coupon platform has enabled Kroger to deliver hundreds of millions of digital coupsons to Kroger customers. This is a good strategic fit for both Kroger and YOU Tech. This transaction is consistent with our digital customer growth plan and provides Kroger a significant opportunity to expand our presence in Silicon Valley, enhancing our exposure to new technologies.”

Kroger’s share price was up 1.99 percent following the news, sitting at $36.91 as of 2:45 p.m. Tuesday. The supermarket chain has been growing its presence significantly as of late, and investors have responded well, driving up shares. Kroger’s latest news also proved to please investors as many recognized the new window in digital couponing a partnership with YOU Tech will yield for the retailer. Kroger has said that its accelerated growth strategy includes a strengthening of the connections with its customers via digital and mobile means, and now it is clear that the Cincinnati, Ohio-based company is ready to make the necessary investments to make sure that goal gets met.

According to PR Newswire, Kroger began offering digital coupons in late 2009 and has since exponentially grown its digital business. The company reached 500 million digital coupon downloads in 2012, just three years after its initial launch, and now Kroger maintains that customers have downloaded more than 400 million more digital coupons in just the last 12 months. It is clear that consumers are showing an increased interest in reaping the benefits of couponing through a digital means, and Kroger and YOU Tech are now more than happy to help. YOU Technology will operate as an independent company within the Kroger family.

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