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Triad makes a major deal with Sam’s Club

Margie Manning

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Triad is headquartered in the Carillon Office Park in St. Petersburg.

Triad, a digital retail media company in St. Petersburg, is selling key talent and technology platforms to Sam’s Club.

The deal terms were not disclosed. The team and technology involved in the sale have been supporting the digital advertising business at Sam’s Club.

Sherry Smith, CEO, Triad

Triad did not say how many staff members are involved in the deal, but they are expected to remain in St. Petersburg.

“Our Triad team and the technology stack developed to run the Sam’s Club digital retail media program have been very successful,” Sherry Smith, Triad CEO, said in a prepared statement. “We’re committed to supporting Sam’s Club and their advertising clients with a smooth transition over several months, and we wish them continued long-term success.”

It’s the second big shift for Triad, one of the largest marketing firms in the Tampa-St. Pete area and owned by GroupM, a division of WPP, the largest advertising company in the world.

For years, Walmart was Triad’s largest customer, but earlier this year, Ad Age reported Walmart was taking that work in-house.

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is the parent company of Sam’s Club.

WPP, which bought Triad in 2016, recently sued Triad’s former owners, saying they failed to provide updated financial information before the deal closed, artificially inflating the value of the company. At issue were  financial projections provided by Triad, including how much revenue the company expected from Walmart, according to the lawsuit.

Triad historically has worked with retailers to integrate brand advertising on their websites. The company recently added consulting and other services, and it said in a news release that it remains a strategic partner to over a dozen leading retailers, including CVS and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Retail has been undergoing a transformation, as consumers make more purchases online. That means media that is owned by retailers on their websites and the data they have about their customers is increasingly valuable to brands.

Working with Triad, Sam’s Club was an early mover in digital transformation and continues to beef up investments to help advertisers succeed with their customers, according to the press release.

“This area of advertising is undergoing exponential growth and is incredibly competitive,” Tony Rogers, Sam’s Club’s chief member officer, said in the release.  “So when this opportunity came to us, it was an easy decision. The team’s expertise and tools, combined with the talent and rich insights we already have, rounds out our in-house digital advertising capabilities and will help us grow this business even faster.”

A request for additional information from Sam’s Club was pending return.

Triad continues to help its retail clients with consulting, strategy and in developing custom solutions to drive sales and revenues from their advertising, data and ecommerce products, Smith said.

“Triad will continue to invest and innovate in services both for brands and retailers, as the industry continues to evolve,” she said.

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