Asda has launched a new business unit – LS Eleven – which brings together its loyalty scheme, Asda Rewards, and retail media business.
LS Eleven – which takes its name from the postcode of the supermarket’s Leeds head office – also incorporates the Asda Mobile and Asda Money businesses.
The new unit is “building data capability to supercharge Asda Rewards and media through better personalisation and targeting” and focused on “data monetisation” according to live job advertisements.
The Asda House-based team is being led by Matt McLellan, Asda’s vice president of customer planning and proposition, who joined the supermarket in 2020 following stints at Tesco and Dunnhumby. Jon Beill, another Dunnhumby alumnus, joined Asda as LS Eleven’s chief growth officer in December.
The supermarket is now working to fill the unit’s ranks, with multiple senior manager roles covering data, engineering, system architecture, insight commercialisation and personalisation.
It is understood the supermarket will be working with a systems integration partner and a major cloud service provider to help build its “technology and data capability from scratch”.
One element of the new business unit’s work will be to “drive revenues” from Asda’s data by engaging Asda suppliers to purchase and use relevant insights. Another involves building “next-generation digital media propositions” and generating demand from “advertisers, both supplier brands and non-endemic brands, on and offsite”.
Several advertised roles are on LS Eleven’s ‘decision science’ team. Job listings note successful candidates will “deliver impactful and customer first personalisation, to create a rewarding and personalised experience for members” of Asda’s loyalty scheme.
Asda was relatively late among its rivals to roll out a loyalty scheme, launching the app-based Asda Rewards programme at a handful of stores in late 2021. The scheme was extended nationwide in August 2022. In June last year the scheme was deemed the UK’s third favourite, according to an index by digital agency Future Platforms.
Last week, the supermarket appointed a new retail media network operator – SMG – saying the partnership would “elevate” the supermarket’s retail media strategy, as the revenue stream became an increasingly important part of its commercial strategy.
The development of LS Eleven’s tech and data proposition will be taking place within the wider technology transformation at Asda, as it untangles its IT systems from those of former owner Walmart.
In September, Asda beefed up its tech team, including the hiring of Marks & Spencer chief technology officer Rob Barnes. Barnes joined the supermarket this month as technology delivery director and deputy CIO.
Adrian Berry also started this month as Asda’s new chief technology officer.