Ohio consumer study firm to double space, workers

DAN SEWELL Associated Press Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A consumer research company plans to more than double its space and number of employees in downtown Cincinnati over the next few years.

Officials on Tuesday laid out details for the new dunnhumbyUSA headquarters building. It will have 250,000 square feet for offices and more than double its workforce of 520 employees, providing another boost to downtown revitalization.

The company is a 2003 joint venture of Cincinnati-based grocer Kroger Co. and a London-based firm that analyzes loyalty card use and other consumer behavior for retailers and consumer products makers, including Macy's and Procter & Gamble Co.

The private, nonprofit Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. would own and operate the building's first floor with retail space. The plans include job creation tax incentives from the city and the state of Ohio.

Mayor Mark Mallory said it's the latest development that's good for both Cincinnati and the state. Cincinnati has been adding restaurants and shops along its riverfront and plans to build a streetcar system that he says will draw visitors and more development. Critics have said the streetcar plan will be a waste of money and some say there is too much focus on downtown while other city neighborhoods need attention.

But the dunnhumbyUSA expansion has brought the Democratic mayor and Republican governor together in support.

Gov. John Kasich said the expansion is another example of how Ohio is broadening its economy beyond traditional industries such as auto making and other manufacturing.

"Dunnhumby is taking off, exploding in analytics, as cool as it gets," Kasich said. He urged the dozens of employees on hand to tell their fellow "young, smart, hip" friends who live elsewhere to join them in Ohio.


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