UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's has bought the Nectar loyalty programme and related assets from Canadian analytics company Aimia for £60 million.
Sainsbury's was a founding partner of the Nectar scheme when was it launched in 2002, replacing its own loyalty card with a system that allows shoppers to gain rewards from a number of retailers and brands.
Now, the supermarket group is bringing loyalty back in-house, in a move that will see it acquire large amounts of customer data.
Catherine Shuttleworth, CEO of marketing agency Savvy, described this an as "interesting move" for the retailer to take total responsibility for its customer loyalty scheme moving forward.
"There’s a real strategic advantage here and demonstrates that loyalty is anything but dead,” she added.
Aimia says that it agreed to the sale of the Nectar business due to limited opportunities to add value to the company.
It added that the evolution of the Sainsbury's group, reaching across grocery, financial services, energy, clothing and general merchandise, has 'led to more limited prospects for Nectar to add new non-competitive partners of scale'.
Last week, Sainsbury's announced that it was cutting management positions across its convenience stores and supermarkets, putting up to 1,700 jobs at risk.
This comes after the retailer posted a like-for-like sales increase of 1.1% for the third quarter of its financial year.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.