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Acosta Group Acquires CROSSMARK, Product Connections

Acosta Group; CROSSMARK; Product Connections logos

Acosta Group has signed a definitive agreement to acquire CROSSMARK, including its headquarter sales agency and retail solutions businesses, and Product Connections, a marketing services business, from WIS International, which will retain its inventory verification services business.

This transaction will accelerate Acosta Group’s ongoing transformation, enhancing the company’s role as a growth engine for brands across all retail channels.

Complementary sales and marketing agency capabilities 

Acosta Group, CROSSMARK and Product Connections have complementary offerings and accomplished agency teams that deliver insights-based strategy, execution and results to clients and customers across all verticals, categories and channels.

Acosta Group launched its newly unified brand in early 2023 to build on the company’s 96-year legacy and align its omnichannel retail, marketing and foodservice agencies to provide access to its end-to-end solutions and unlock growth for its clients and customers. Building on its investments in the sales and marketing agency space, Acosta Group is committed to onboarding the CROSSMARK and Product Connections agency brands and businesses to help grow and expand the company’s capabilities and suite of services.

The CROSSMARK and Product Connections sales and marketing agencies have served brands and retailers for more than 100 years, and the company’s core services today include headquarter sales, retail services and marketing services. 

“Based on Acosta Group’s successful transformation under Brian and his leadership team, we are confident they will be a strong steward of CROSSMARK, Product Connections and our customers and people for the long term,” said Jim Rose, CEO of WIS International. “We are excited about the opportunities that being a part of Acosta Group will create for our CROSSMARK and Product Connections associates, clients and customers.”

[RELATED: Acosta Group To Align Collective Of Agencies To Lead In New Era Of Commerce]

The combination, the company believes, will bring together the best of these brands and organizations across omnichannel retail in an increasingly competitive and disruptive macroenvironment.

According to CEO Brian Wynne, the expected benefits of a combined Acosta Group, CROSSMARK and Product Connections include:

  • Offer expanded services and solutions – With this acquisition, Acosta Group will provide CROSSMARK and Product Connections’ clients “access to its deep digital commerce capabilities and a border geographical footprint than ever before. Meanwhile, Acosta Group’s clients and customers will gain leading in-store sampling and demonstration capabilities and broader category-specific expertise.”
  • Strengthen retail service delivery and execution – Wynne said in an open letter that “CROSSMARK and Product Connections’ clients will gain greater flexibility, speed and reporting in-store.”
  • Help Acosta Group provide more opportunities for employees – By acquiring CROSSMARK and Product Connections, the company “will not only better serve our clients’ specific needs, but also foster the growth of our dedicated associates around the world.”

“We anticipate a bright future for our organization as we make continued investments in associates, partners and business overall,” Wynne shared. “This exciting acquisition will further bolster both our capabilities and optimistic view of our business and the industry as we move through 2024 and beyond.”

Wynne concluded his open letter, sharing that more updates will be provided to shareholders in time and that “during the regulatory review and closing process, our businesses will continue to operate and go to market as independent entities.”

Following the close of the transaction, Acosta Group will continue to be led by Wynne. Rose will remain as WIS International’s CEO, leading the inventory verification services business. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. 

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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