NEWS21 July 2011

Walmart to share sales data again under Nielsen deal

News North America

US— The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, is to share its US sales data with Nielsen for the first time in 10 years.

Walmart’s annual US sales of more than $300bn are worth more than its four nearest rivals combined, but it stopped sharing point-of-sale data with information companies such as Nielsen in 2001 because it felt that its size meant the arrangement favoured its competitors.

Nielsen said the new deal, which also covers Walmart subsidiary Sam’s Club, will allow it to provide “a better, more precise view of consumer purchase activity for the benefit of the industry.” As part of the new agreement Nielsen will become Walmart’s “primary provider for information, tools and training”.

Cindy Davis (pictured), who was promoted earlier this year to lead Walmart’s new global customer insights team, said: “This expanded relationship with Nielsen will provide Walmart and Sam’s Club with deeper insights into customer purchasing – and unmet needs – both nationally and in key local markets. We plan to share our point-of-sale information to help us identify category growth opportunities sooner and collaborate with our manufacturer partners to develop more impactful customer-driven programmes.”

UPDATE 21/7/11
Nielsen rival SymphonyIRI said today it is currently finalising a similar agreement with Walmart that will provide manufacturers with the same data. The firm said it hopes to have an agreement in place in the next few weeks.