dunnhumby Rebrands KSS Retail, Launches Broader Price and Promotion Services and Software Offering Built Around Customer Insights

21 October 2015


New dunnhumby Price and Promotion Brand Marks Extension of Company’s Unique Customer Strategy, Science, Research and Technology Capabilities to More Retailers Globally

SAN FRANCISCO – October 21, 2015 – dunnhumby, the world’s leading customer science company, today announced the relaunch of its KSS Retail business unit under the new dunnhumby Price and Promotion brand – reflecting the integration of market-leading software and tools with its globally established consulting and research practice. The announcement was made in conjunction with the Professional Pricing Society Fall Meeting, featuring a presentation here this week by Howard Langer, dunnhumby Managing Director for Price and Promotion.dunnhumby Price and Promotion

KSS Retail was acquired by dunnhumby in 2010 based on the strength of its PriceStrat software solution, which pioneered the market for price and promotions optimization. Since then, PriceStrat has been implemented at some of the largest retailers in the world, including Tesco, AutoZone, and Southeastern Grocers.

With the restructuring of dunnhumby’s joint venture agreements in major markets this year, particularly in the United States, retailers can now, for the first time, turn to a single source for strategy, research and planning, and other distinctive price and promotion services, in addition to enterprise-class optimization and analytics tools. The combined team’s mission is to empower merchandising and category management teams to better understand their customers and make informed decisions that drive long-term loyalty and profitability.

Getting price and promotion right is vital to the success of any retail business, and customer price perception remains a critical element of building brand value. Yet price is highly difficult to master, industry research shows. An estimated 68 percent of pricing initiatives are only “somewhat effective” or “not effective at all,” according to Retail Systems Research (1). With the 2015 holiday season close at hand, retailers are waging intense price-matching battles to compete. However, their tactics too often increase shopper price sensitivity and diminish long-term loyalty, according to Langer.

Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, a California-based grocery chain, has already benefitted from both dunnhumby Price & Promotion consulting services and PriceStrat price optimization technology. Providing customers with the right value is an important strategic goal for the company, according to Kevin Curry, Senior Vice President of Sales and Merchandising for Raley’s. “dunnhumby helps us understand our customers so we can judiciously invest in products and offers that are most important to them and provide a more personalized experience,” Curry said.

“At the very core of a successful price and promotion strategy is knowledge of one’s customers, and dunnhumby has proven time and again that we understand shoppers and their behavior better than anyone else.” Langer said. “The unique combination of our strategic processes, proprietary insights and cutting-edge software suite enables dunnhumby Price and Promotion to help retailers truly take the right steps that result in sustained pricing power.”

For example, dunnhumby Price and Promotion works with retail chains to:

  • Evaluate and model customer price perception, providing insight into what steps influence sustained shopper loyalty and competitive advantage
  • Develop more relevant, personalized promotional plans that attract their most valuable customers and grow category performance with minimal cannibalization
  • Forecast the impact of pricing, promotional and assortment changes on customer demand and key financial metrics, such as revenue and gross margin.

“Retailers are operating in an incredibly complex, fast-moving omnichannel world, and regardless of their current level of maturity, or their current challenges, we are confident we can help pricing teams solve their pricing problems and compete in smart ways to achieve significant performance improvements,” Langer added.

“We’ve built our entire business around customer loyalty, and price plays a leading role in what customers think about a brand,” added Simon Hay, dunnhumby CEO. “We’re passionate about helping clients get to know their customers so well that they can predict – and meet – their desires, including their need for the right prices, promotions, and products on the shelf. We’re excited to be able to bring many of these strategic dunnhumby Price and Promotion capabilities to the market for the first time, through a truly comprehensive offering.”

Presentation: Personalization Trends in Price and Promotion

Langer will present a session discussing the future of price and promotion at the PPS Society Fall Meeting, scheduled on Friday, October 23rd. In this session, “The Times They Are A-Changing: How Personalization of Price & Promotions is Changing Retail Pricing,” Langer will prescribe how retailers can improve their competitive position and how to best use customer data to deliver more relevant pricing and promotions. Learn more: http://www.pricingsociety.com/home/workshops-conferences/conferences/north-america---fall/fall-2015-workshops-and-conference.

(1) Retail Systems Research, “Pricing 2015: Learning To Live In A Dynamic, Promotional World,” June 2015.