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Kroger acquires portion of DunnhumbyUSA

BY Ryan Chavis

CINCINNATI — DunnhumbyUSA, a customer science company, and Kroger on Monday announced a new arrangement that the companies said will offer great flexibility regarding the use of data to create opportunities for innovation and growth. As part of the new agreement, a long-term license and service agreement will replace the existing joint venture the companies are currently a part of. Kroger will also acquire certain assets from dunnhumbyUSA and a new business — called 84.51° — will operate using those assets.
 
Dunnhumby Ltd will operate in the United States under the name Dunnhumby and will be able to expand its client base and accelerate growth as part of the new arrangement with Kroger, the companies stated. The company will continue to operate from offices in Cincinnati, New York, Boston, Chicago and Sacramento. 
 
As part of the arrangements, Kroger will retain duhnhumby Ltd’s technology to continue to develop Kroger’s customer insights and loyalty programs. More than 500 employees of dunnhumbyUSA will now be associates of 84.51°. Additionally, current CPG companies that serve Kroger customers and work with duhnhumbyUSA will transition to the new business. Stuart Aiken, who led duhnhumbyUSA, will now be CEO of 84.51°.
 
"Kroger and dunnhumby revolutionized retailing in the U.S. by focusing on the customer, and we intend to do it again with 84.51°. We are launching 84.51° with a powerful foundation, including a decade of experience and a team of incredibly talented associates from both dunnhumbyUSA and Kroger. The ability to combine what we already know with other partners is exciting and will speed up innovation. We expect these innovations to grow our business and deliver a world-class customer experience," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "We will continue to utilize data science for the benefit of the customer and to deliver a personalized experience, both in store and online. Doing so will continue to differentiate Kroger and create value for our shareholders."
 
Financial terms of the agreement are not available. The new businesses will begin operations on April 27. There aren’t expected to be any staff reductions as a part of the acquisition. 
 
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Meijer creates garden oasis in-store

BY Gina Acosta

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer has partnered with Scotts-MiracleGro to create an unprecedented lawn and garden section in its stores, just in time for the spring gardening season. 
 
Meijer is the first supercenter to partner with the national lawn care and garden brand to create a Garden Marketplace inside 27 Meijer stores across the Midwest as peak gardening season begins.
 
The Garden Marketplace is located inside the retailer's seasonal department, and will feature a variety of Scotts-MiracleGro and Meijer brand products – grass seed, plant seed packets, soils, lawn food, and control products – to assist and inspire customers interested in gardening, and lawn care and maintenance.
 
"We know the average homeowner spends four hours a week caring for their lawn and garden, which is why the Garden Marketplace will focus on providing solutions for our customers' outdoor needs," said Bill Stechebar, divisional merchandise manager for garden/floral for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. "This partnership gives us an opportunity to expand our already robust Garden Centers and become an outdoor destination." 
 
Meijer has long offered the popular Scotts-MiracleGro brand and believes the pilot project will enhance the shopping experience of its avid and novice gardening customers at the following 11 Meijer stores in Michigan:
 
  • Norton Shores
  • Knapp's Corner
  • Howell
  • Scio Township
  • Washington Township
  • Battle Creek-Beckley Road
  • Portage-Shaver Road
  • Gaines Township
  • Standale
  • Lenox Township
  • Ionia
     
"Confusion is a major barrier to entry into the lawn and garden category for most consumers," said Stephen Markert, vice president of channel sales at Scotts Miracle-Gro. "Planning a garden or taking care of your lawn doesn't have to be complicated. This endeavor with Meijer allows us to cut through the confusion and reach a significant number of lawn and garden enthusiasts, in fact, early results from these 27 stores have been tremendous. We are excited to enhance their customer's shopping experience and look forward to continuing a strong partnership."
 
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 213 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.
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P&G brands, Safe Kids Worldwide partner to promote laundry room safety

BY Ryan Chavis

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble brands Tide and Gain will partner with nonprofit Safe Kids Worldwide to help spread awareness of the importance of laundry room safety. The two companies will launch the Up, Up and Away campaign to help remind parents and caregivers to keep laundry detergent pacs away from children.
 
Young children are prone to wonder around to learn more about their surroundings, and although parents do make efforts to safe-proof their homes, the laundry room can sometimes fall at the bottom of the list, P&G stated. 
 
“At P&G, safety is our number one priority,” said Shailesh Jejurikar, P&G’s North America Fabric Care and New Business Development President. “Most of us are parents too, and we want families to use our products safely. Our Up, Up, and Away campaign and our partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide will support families with information and tools to create safe home environments. We deeply respect and admire the work that Safe Kids Worldwide does in helping reduce the amount of preventable injuries and know that they will be great partners in equipping families with laundry safety information and tools.”
 
The partnership kicks off with P&G’s sponsorship of Safe Kids Worldwide’s annual Safe Kids Day, a day dedicated to making every kid a safe kid, P&G stated. Consumers can find an upcoming Safe Kids Day even in their area by clicking here.
 
“When new products come into our homes, we need to look closely to see if we need to make any changes to protect our kids. We have seen this happen with flat panel TVs and now with laundry packets,” said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “Safe Kids is embarking on a new partnership with Tide and Gain to make sure that families and caregivers understand the importance of keeping all laundry products, including laundry packets, out of the sight and reach of our children.”
 
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