The Kroger Co. and dunnhumby Ltd. are dissolving their partnership in dunnhumbyUSA, the retailer has announced. The loyalty program-oriented market research firm will grant Kroger a new long-term license and service agreement, and sell the retailer certain assets from dunnhumbyUSA in replacing their existing exclusive joint venture.
The new arrangement will replace a joint venture partnership between dunnhumby Ltd., which British retailer Tesco owns, and Kroger. Under the new arrangement, Kroger will launch a business called 84.51° that will operate with the assets acquired or licensed as its foundation. Kroger will retain dunnhumby Ltd.’s technology and more than 500 of dunnhumbyUSA’s employees as associates of 84.51°, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co., according to the retailer.
In the meantime, dunnhumby Ltd will continue to operate in the United States, Kroger noted, expanding its client base and accelerating the growth of its business.
Current retail clients of the joint venture will transition to dunnhumby, which will continue to operate its U.S. business from offices in Cincinnati, New York, Boston, Chicago and Sacramento, Kroger maintained.
“Kroger and dunnhumby revolutionized retailing in the U.S. by focusing on the customer, and we intend to do it again with 84.51°,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO, in announcing the new changes in the dunnhumby relationship. “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. 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.”
The companies did not disclose financial terms of the new arrangements but did state that the new businesses will commence operations on April 27, according to Kroger.