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Digital engagement firm backed by ex-Tesco boss Terry Leahy bags Sainsbury’s contract

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The firm develops digital services for the retail and hospitality industries, allowing clients to make digital connections to consumers. It boasts Harvester, PizzaExpress, JD Sports, Karen Millen, O’Neill’s and Tesco on its long high-profile list of partners.

Eagle Eye AIR is the flagship platform, a digital transaction service that manages all aspects involved around distribution and redemption of digital deals, vouchers and rewards, effectively eliminating the traditional paper model.

Sainsbury’s will join rival supermarket Tesco in using the AIR platform through a “multi-year contract”, but may find advice coming from a former adversary – Terry Leahy. Indeed, the ex-Tesco boss is on the board of Eagle Eye and was instrumental in leading a £1.5m Series A funding round for the company back in 2011.

“I am delighted that Sainsbury’s has chosen Eagle Eye,” said Phill Blundell, Eagle Eye CEO. “This is a major endorsement of the benefits that the Eagle Eye AIR platform delivers and represents a significant milestone for our business as we continue to help transform the ways in which retailers connect with their customers.”

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This marks a very significant turning point for Sainsbury’s following the April announcement it would create almost 500 new jobs in digital and technology areas. With coders, engineers and designers among just some of the new roles being produced, the firm said at the time it aspired to enhance its website and shopping apps.

With that in mind, AIR will seemingly help the supermarket to realise its goals. The platform comprises four key components, including campaign creation, issuance, redemption and reporting.

A Digital Lab was opened by Sainsbury in London this summer and visited by prime minister David Cameron. It will act as a location for the creative recruits enlisted to create tech support.

Mike Coupe, CEO, Sainsbury’s, said: “The shape of our business is changing and digital and technology is a core part of our future growth.

“Ultimately these changes are good news for customers – the Technology Hub in Coventry will keep our systems running smoothly and experts in our Digital Lab in London will be developing new ways of digital shopping to give customers the best access to our products, services and offers.”

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