Updated: Mosaic acquires Hunter Straker

A move to bolster retail expertise in an increasingly competitive market

This story was updated on Oct. 3 at 5:44 p.m.

Mosaic has built out its offering in the shopper marketing space with the acquisition of Toronto’s Hunter Straker.

Financial terms of the deal, announced Wednesday, were not disclosed.

Established in the early 1960s, Hunter Straker’s roots lie in package design. However, it has transformed its business to include strategic planning, retail consulting, promo marketing and in-store materials over the years, creating a skill-set it calls “Purchase Design.”

On its website, Hunter Straker says it is committed to looking beyond the “constraint of the physical package” by integrating the “visual clues” found along the path to purchase into the retail environment, creating a consistent brand message.

Speaking with Marketing late Wednesday, Mosaic vice-president Chad Grenier said that the two parties have been in discussions for “well over” a year. Mosaic’s principals had been following Hunter Straker closely, and the two agencies had collaborated on previous projects, he said.

“They really have a unique proposition in basically creating a consistent design across all in-store touch-points,” said Grenier. “The ability to deliver from package design, promotions and shopper marketing is integrated retail marketing at its best. It’s a perfect complement to what we do in terms of our ability to engage customers in and out of the store and our social media strategies.”

The combined entity, Grenier said, will provide an all-in-one shopper marketing solution to clients seeking what he called “bigger, smarter ideas.” While there is some overlap between the two agencies’ expertise in the consumer promotion space, Grenier said that Hunter Straker’s capabilities perfectly complement to Mosaic’s core competencies in areas like consumer promotions and shopper marketing.

“We see nothing but synergies, complementary services and our ability to service our clients better, and for [Hunter Straker] to leverage our scale and for us to add more strategic resources to our service mix for our clients,” said Grenier.

Matthew Diamond, partner and managing director with Hunter Straker, said in a release that the agency undertook a “journey of transformation” that began two-and-a-half years ago.

He said that the sale allows the company to take its purchase design model to the next level by tapping into Mosaic’s expertise in sales and merchandising, experiential, digital design and production, PR and social media.

Hunter Straker will function as a unit of Mosaic, with its 18-20 employees – including partners Diamond, James Fraser, Mark Jay and Warren Paisley – joining the agency.

The agencies share clients such as Johnson & Johnson and General Mills, said Grenier, while both agencies bring clients that will benefit from each other’s services.

While Canada lags behind the U.S. in the shopper marketing space, Grenier said that agencies, manufacturers and retailers are becoming “more sophisticated” about how they address customers at retail. That is manifesting itself in an increased focus on consumer insights and greater integration of marketing in the in-store environment.

“It has been and will continue to be a growing area for years to come,” said Grenier.

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