The UK’s second largest supermarket has paid £60 million to acquire the Nectar loyalty scheme in a move to acquire swathes of customer data.
The loyalty rewards programme – launched in 2002 and combines the loyalty schemes of over 500 brands including eBay, British Gas and BP – was purchased from Canadian firm Aimia.
Since purchasing the scheme in 2007 from the inventor of Air Miles Keith Mills, Aimia has recently sought to offload it in favour of other more profitable businesses.
“The transaction allows for a sharper focus on Aeroplan, our largest and most profitable business, and simplifies our business all the while preserving a robust balance sheet for our ongoing business,” Aimia’s chief executive David Johnston said.
Sainsbury’s will now acquire all assets, colleagues, systems and licences of Nectar, stating it would help their “strategy of knowing its customers better than anyone else.”
It added that there would be no change for customers, which can currently use 500 Nectar points to purchase £2.50 worth of goods at the grocer.
Cavendish Corporate Finance’s head of retail Jonathan Buxton said: “In today’s hyper-competitive grocery landscape, consumer data is king – for grocers, it helps them to market more effectively to consumers, optimise their ranges and maximise footfall.
“With the Nectar loyalty program under its roof, Sainsbury’s is putting consumers right at the front of its business, in contrast to the Tesco-Booker deal, where Tesco seems to be increasingly becoming a logistics operation.”