Walmart-Nielsen Data Sharing Deal Fills Long-Standing Analytical Gap

For more than a decade, there's been a sizeable gap in analyses of the retail and consumer goods industries because Walmart did not make its sales data available to third-party firms. Now that the world's largest retailer will begin sharing information from its Walmart and Sam's Club stores with analytics firm Nielsen, that gap will shrink dramatically.

While Walmart does share data with many of its consumer goods suppliers, the retailer had stayed out of the prevailing retail/consumer goods data sharing model for over 10 years. Because Walmart can account for one-third to one-half of a consumer product's market share, the retailer's absence made it difficult to get an accurate read of product movement and consumer demand patterns.

"Nielsen is thrilled to expand our relationship with Walmart, adding to the momentum we've established with their sister company, Sam's Club," said John Lewis, president and CEO, North America Consumer for Nielsen in a statement. "We believe that Walmart's participation in the information sharing model reinforces the importance of business information and analytics in today's retail climate."

Walmart did not disclose the financial terms of its deal with Nielsen, which includes Nielsen serving as Walmart's primary provider for information, tools and training. Walmart instead focused on the benefits of more accurate analysis.

"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," said Cindy Davis, EVP of Walmart global customer insights in a statement. "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 programs going forward."

Over the next several months, Nielsen will incorporate the Walmart and Sam's Club retail sales information and define new views of U.S. industry numbers.

For related content see: Walmart CEO Discusses Serving 'Next-Generation Customer'

EDITOR'S NOTE: RIS readers can help improve the industry's understanding of retailer/supplier data sharing by participating in the 2nd Annual Shared Data Study, conducted in conjunction with our sister publication CGT with results to be published in September. Click here to take the survey.

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