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ACNielsen Delivers First Information and Insights From New Wal-Mart Channel Service

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. - ACNielsen U.S., an operating unit of ACNielsen, a VNU company, today announced its first delivery to clients of sales information and insights from its new Wal-Mart Channel Service.

The service, which uses data gathered from the ACNielsen Homescan consumer panel, was developed in response to Wal-Mart's decision over the summer to stop sharing its point-of-sale data with the market research industry.

Scott Keplinger, ACNielsen vice president, Retail Measurement Services, said, "The ability to track Wal-Mart's sales is critical given its marketplace importance and its recent decision to end industry-wide information sharing. Our premier consumer panel and decision-support tools allow us to fill the void created by the lack of Wal-Mart scanning data, while providing the industry with important new insights into Wal-Mart's customers."

The Wal-Mart Channel Service data are integrated into the ACNielsen Scantrack retail measurement service which reports point-of-sale information from the grocery, drug, and combined grocery/drug/mass channels. Trending, shares, prices, volumes (dollar, unit and equivalized), retail conditions, and insights into key items and promotional activities are reported.

The Wal-Mart Channel Service provides ACNielsen clients with both Wal-Mart sales tracking information and consumer insights. Nearly 80 percent of Homescan panelists are Wal-Mart shoppers, providing a robust sample, including fully representative coverage of rural areas where Wal-Mart has an especially strong presence.

According to the service, Wal-Mart's growth over the past 52 weeks has been driven by its supercenters. Eight million more US households than last year shopped in Wal-Mart supercenters, and supercenter shopper households spent 8% more than they did in the previous year. Overall, Wal-Mart's supercenter revenue is up 29% compared with the previous year.

The ACNielsen Wal-Mart Channel Service initially is reporting on Total Wal-Mart, Division I stores, and Supercenter stores for the Total U.S. and four U.S. Census Bureau regions. This will be expanded to nine U.S. Census Bureau divisions in early 2002 as new households are added to the panel. The Homescan panel may be used to read additional channels such as warehouse club stores and others in the future.
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