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Food Lion Deepens Relationship with Marketing Data Providers

SALISBURY, N.C. -- Food Lion here is ramping up its agreements with the two leading U.S. marketing data providers, ACNielsen U.S. and Information Resources, Inc., in an effort to gain new insights and better serve its shoppers.

Food Lion's new agreement with Schaumburg, Ill.-based ACNielsen, a VNU business, significantly expands the services it uses. The regional retailer has begun utilizing the ACNielsen Homescan consumer panel for insights into Food Lion shoppers, and Retail ACView for ongoing measurement of its market share. (Retail ACView provides a Web-accessed view of Food Lion's total-store competitive performance, both nationally and within its local markets.) In addition, eight new Food Lion trade areas are now available.

"Our success is primarily dependent upon how well we serve our shoppers," said Food Lion's director of business strategy and analytics, Charles Davis, in a statement. "The ACNielsen Homescan consumer panel will give us additional insights we need to keep our focus as consumer-centric as possible. In addition, Retail ACView will provide us with a highly reliable and accurate process for monitoring our market share within the markets where we compete."

ACNielsen s.v.p. of retail client service, Danny Sacco, noted, "This is a very important agreement because it moves our relationship with Food Lion from a data exchange relationship to that of a trusted advisor."

Under the new agreement, Food Lion will use ACNielsen NITRO software to access its point-of-sale data housed in a customized ACNielsen Retail Warehouse Solution, and to easily import the data into Microsoft Office documents. Additionally, the retailer will have full-time, on-site support from an ACNielsen analyst.

Food Lion has also renewed its long-term relationship with Chicago-based Information Resources, Inc.

Food Lion will continue leveraging the IRI InfoScan Reviews syndicated sales tracking service for granular store-level market insight, and the IRI Consumer Network Household Panel for deeper consumer insights. Food Lion will also utilize the Apollo Space Management solution, part of IRI's enterprise Business Performance Management solutions suite, throughout the Food Lion organization for improved in-store merchandising capabilities, as well as Web-based RetailNetwork and MarketInsight Wal-Mart solutions for heightened category management activities with its manufacturing partners.

Mike Taschke, director of store merchandising for Food Lion, said IRI has been a "valued partner" to Food Lion for over 15 years. "We rely on their information and innovative retail merchandising and collaboration solutions to better drive our business. The information and business applications provided by IRI are critical to our continued success and competitive edge, and we look forward to continuing our mutually beneficial partnership," he noted.
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