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In March, Gap closed its retail media network (RMN), GPS Media, after just one year. For some, the closure of such a short-lived project signaled that the bubble had burst on the frothy growth of retail media networks, a channel forecast to be worth more than $106 billion by 2027 in the U.S., according to Insider Intelligence.
Naturally, there is more nuance.
Gap as an RMN was always limited because it sells mostly Gap products. A key selling point of an RMN—using retailer data to target shoppers with ads very close to the point of sale—wouldn’t apply to other apparel, beauty or consumer packaged goods brands that could happily spend at RMNs like Amazon, Target, Walmart and Kroger.
Still, the excitement around RMNs has been a runaway train.