Sainsbury’s secures ownership of Nectar from Aimia for £60m

UK retail group Sainsbury’s has taken full control of the Nectar rewards scheme in Britain after having an offer of £60m accepted by data analytics firm Aimia.

Sainsbury’s will bolster its access to data with the purchase which will also aid sister company Argos, two of Nectar's largest participating brands. The group’s reach expands across grocery, financial services, energy, clothing, and general merchandise, sectors that can be better informed in consumer habits and trends, which can aid its pricing, marketing and more.

The retailer has been part of the Nectar rewards scheme since co-founding it in 2002 but now holds the entire British operation, which includes Nectar license, staff, and all other assets.

David Johnston, group chief executive of Aimia, said: “Selling the Nectar business to Sainsbury's was the optimal risk-adjusted outcome for Aimia and we have worked to ensure a seamless transition for collectors and employees.

"The transaction allows for a sharper focus on Aeroplan, our largest and most profitable business, and simplifies our operations all the while preserving a robust balance sheet for our ongoing business."

Catherine Shuttleworth, chief executive at shopper marketing agency Savvy, described it as an "interesting move".

“There’s a real strategic advantage here and [it] demonstrates that loyalty is anything but dead," she said.