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London-based international marketing consultancy dunnhumby has acquired KSS Retail, a Florham Park, N.J.-based provider of price-modeling and optimization solutions for retailers, in a move that will enable dunnhumby to combine its loyalty solutions expertise with KSS’ solutions.
KSS provides software that generates optimized prices based on consumer demand, and accurately models and forecasts the effects of future pricing and promotional decisions for retailers in the grocery, drug, convenience, online and general retail segments. Current clients include Kroger, Sonae (Portugal), Raley’s, McKesson, Associated Food Stores, Brookshire Brothers and Balls Food Stores, to name just a few. KSS will operate as an independent business unit of dunnhumby and maintain its existing management structure. Over time, KSS will bring elements of dunnhumby capability to the marketplace.
“dunnhumby has a proven reputation in the retail industry for delivering actionable customer insights,” said Lance Jacobs, CEO of KSS. “By leveraging dunnhumby’s expertise with our price optimization technology, we will be able to jointly bring unprecedented value to the retailer, manufacturer and consumer.”
Kevin Sterneckert, research director at Boston-based AMR Research, considers the acquisition “market-disrupting,” one that will likely cause many software providers angst as they assess the potential strength this transaction represents. “AMR sees a fantastic potential in the combination of dunnhumby’s thought-leading consumer marketing techniques and the proven demand-sensing and -shaping capabilities of software provided by KSS Retail,” he noted.
dunnhumby uses insights from data representing over 200 million households worldwide to develop actionable strategies that create dramatic growth and sustainable loyalty for brands and retailers. Its customers include Tesco, Casino, Kroger, Procter & Gamble, Shell, Coca-Cola and Mars.