Sam’s Club has struck a deal with WPP’s ecommerce media sales unit Triad Retail Media to acquire the proprietary tech stack that the firm had developed for the Walmart subsidiary. The Triad team working on the Sam’s Club account will become employees of the company as the client in-houses the operation.
Contrary to some reports, Sam’s Club is not buying the broader business, which remains part of WPP.
It’s been a tumultuous year for Triad, which lost its biggest client—Walmart—early this year.
Commenting on that loss during a subsequent call with analysts, WPP CEO Mark Read said it was fair to question whether Triad “is a company we should or should not have acquired,” sparking speculation that the firm was up for up for sale.
WPP acquired Triad for $300 million in 2016 when former CEO Martin Sorrell was still running the company. Read replaced him last year.
In May the Wall Street Journal reported that retail giant Target was in talks to acquire Triad, but nothing has come of those talks to date.
And WPP last month filed suit against the previous owners of Triad for misrepresenting the state of its finances and fraudulently inflating its value.
Confirming the deal, Sherry Smith, CEO Triad stated, “Our Triad team and the technology stack developed to run the Sam’s Club digital retail media program have been very successful. 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.”
Smith added that Triad continues to work with over a dozen leading national retailers, helping them with consulting, strategy and developing custom solutions for their ecommerce operations.
Triad, Smith added, “will continue to invest and innovate in services both for brands and retailers, as the industry continues to evolve.”