Feb 2, 2018
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Sainsbury's buys Nectar to boost treasure trove of customer insight data

Feb 2, 2018

UK supermarkets giant Sainsbury’s has just spent £60 million on its latest acquisition and it’s one that will help it learn even more about the customers who are buying its fashion offer in ever-increasing numbers.


The company is buying the UK ops of the Nectar loyalty scheme from Canada’s Aimia Inc as more and more retailers work to boost their customer insights using sophisticated behaviour data.

The company said it’s buying Nectar to support its “strategy of knowing its customers better than anyone else.” And that move makes good commercial sense because shoppers aren’t only buying their groceries from the firm these days. It status as one of the UK’s biggest clothing retailers mean they’re buying their family fashion looks there too. And as the owner of Habitat, they’re also buying their sofas, chairs, tables and lamps. Meanwhile, via Argos, they’re buying almost every general merchandise category you can think of.

The company used Nectar customer data when it looked at buying Argos as it allowed it to see what the two businesses had in common and how their customers interacted. And presumably it will be able to use it even more as it expands its fashion offer with launches such as the Tu Premium men’s and women’s lines that have been key developments in its clothing offer.

Last year, it tested a system using an app and micro-location data that tracked shopper location in-store and allowed it to influence their behaviour in real time. That generated higher sales and more store visits and the trial has been extended, according to reports.

Sainsbury’s said the transaction would add to earnings straight away as Aimia is paying £105 million to cover liabilities related to outstanding Nectar points.

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