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dunnhumby Limited
Private (subsidiary of Tesco)
Industry Marketing
Headquarters Ealing, United Kingdom
Number of locations
54 offices in 29 countries
Area served
Key people
Simon Hay
(CEO 2011–Present)
Products Tesco Clubcard among others
Services Marketing resources, the "Shop"
Number of employees
Parent Tesco
Subsidiaries KSS Retail, BzzAgent, Sociomantic
Website www.dunnhumby.com

dunnhumby is a UK-based Customer Science company.


The company was formed by husband and wife team Edwina Dunn and Clive Humby.[1] Humby was a University of Sheffield trained mathematician, and the couple both worked at Caci. Wanting to start his own business, Humby resigned from Caci, and left on the day that Dunn was sacked. The couple[2] started Dunnhumby in 1989 in the kitchen of their Chiswick, West London home.[1][3] The company began working with clients, including Cable & Wireless and BMW.[4]

Tesco Clubcard[edit]

dunnhumby originally gained prominence for helping establish Tesco Clubcard. In 1994, Tesco who were second in the UK retail market to Sainsbury's, wanted to create a new loyalty card. The man responsible for Tesco's trials, Grant Harrison, attended a conference where Clive Humby was speaking. Harrison agreed a trial with Tesco's then marketing director Terry Leahy, and after successful trials throughout 1994, the company was asked to present their findings. The first response from the board came from Tesco's then-Chairman Lord MacLaurin, who said "What scares me about this is that you know more about my customers after three months than I know after 30 years."[5]

Current business[edit]

Tesco originally bought a 53% stake in 2001 for a reported £30m, increasing this to 84% in 2006,[3] before purchasing the rest of the shares.[6] The company is led by global CEO Simon Hay and employs more than 2,000 people in 29 countries, selling information from a 40-terabyte database, to companies including Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and US retailer Kroger.[7] Dunn and Humby resigned from the company in October 2010, and remained non-executive directors through early 2013.[3]

KSS Retail, a provider of analytics software and services for retail price optimization and promotions planning, was acquired by dunnhumby in 2010.[8] Originally founded in Manchester, U.K., KSS Retail operated as a separate business unit until October 2015, when it was rebranded as dunnhumby Price and Promotion. KSS Retail developed and commercialized optimization software called PriceStrat that helps retailers identify the right prices and promotions as part of a revenue management and merchandising strategy. [9] Through dunnhumby Price and Promotion, the business also provides business intelligence software that helps retailers with promotions and market basket analytics.

BzzAgent, a Boston-based social marketing and advocacy start-up, was acquired by dunnhumby in 2011.[10] Founded in 2001, BzzAgent runs word-of-mouth networks in North America and the United Kingdom, enlisting unpaid volunteers to try products from companies including Procter & Gamble, Unilever and L’Oréal, then share opinions about those products with others, in-person and online.[11]

Berlin-based global advertising technology firm Sociomantic was acquired by dunnhumby in 2014,[12] according to dunnhumby CEO Simon Hay, to improve customers' online experiences by "mak[ing] online content personalised for people, based on what they actually like, want and need."[13] The company, founded in 2009, uses real-time bidding technology to purchase and display personalized digital advertising in milliseconds. Sociomantic operates in 60+ markets and 19 offices, worldwide.[14]

A new Tesco Clubcard alongside an old-style Clubcard Key fob

Proposed sale by Tesco[edit]

Given the trading difficulty at Tesco, in autumn 2014 it was suggested that the company might be on offer for sale at £2 billion.[15] The BBC reported in January that Tesco is seeking a buyer for the company.[16] In April 2015, The Kroger Company announced it would buy much of dunnhumbyUSA and create a new consumer insights subsidiary called 84.51°, effective immediately.[17]


  1. ^ a b Smale, Will (24 November 2014). "The couple who helped transform the way we shop". BBC News. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "About us". www.dunnhumby.com. dunnhumby Limited. 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  3. ^ a b c Wood, Zoe and Lyons, Teena (October 29, 2010). "Clubcard couple head for checkout at Tesco". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  4. ^ Rigby, Elizabeth (2006-11-11). "Eyes in the till". Financial Times. pp. 16–22. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  5. ^ Mesure, Susie (2003-10-10). "Loyalty card costs Tesco £1bn of profits – but is worth every penny". The Independent. 
  6. ^ http://www.tescoplc.com/index.asp?pageid=396
  7. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=12109720[dead link]
  8. ^ http://kssretail.com/2010/01/04/dunnhumby-ltd-acquires-kss-retail/
  9. ^ http://www.theverge.com/2014/5/2/5667606/supermarket-price-optimization
  10. ^ http://adage.com/article/digital/tesco-buys-social-marketing-firm-bzzagent-60-million/227695/
  11. ^ http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/bzzagent-sold-tesco-unit-dunnhumby-131902
  12. ^ http://www.adexchanger.com/advertiser/confirmed-tesco-dsp-sociomantic/
  13. ^ https://www.tescoplc.com/talkingshop/index.asp?blogid=198
  14. ^ https://www.sociomantic.com/technology/
  15. ^ Wood, Zoe (10 October 2014). "Passed their use-by date? The businesses Tesco could sell". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  16. ^ Miller, Joe (8 January 2015). "Tesco to close 43 stores despite better Christmas sales". BBC News. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  17. ^ http://www.cincinnati.com/story/money/2015/04/27/kroger-buys-dunnhumbyusa/26452443/

External links[edit]