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NPD research firm partners with Walmart

VALLEY STREAM, NY - MARCH 29: A woman

VALLEY STREAM, NY - MARCH 29: A woman enters a Walmart store on March 29, 2011 in Valley Stream, New The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on whether more than one million female Walmart employees can pursue a class-action discrimination suit against the retailer. The group of women says Wal-Mart systematically discriminated against women in stores across America. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Credit: Getty Images

The NPD Group Inc., a Port Washington-based consumer research company, has signed an agreement to get access to Walmart's retail point-of-purchase information, the company said Friday.

The addition will give NPD a major new source of detailed, immediate insight into what people are buying.

Together, Walmart and NPD will work to make the information into products -- such as reports and forecasts -- to be sold to other companies.

The products could be used "by thousands of decision makers at manufacturers and retailers to identify high value market opportunities and monitor business performance," the consumer research company said.

NPD said the Walmart information, and the data-driven products it promises, will enhance NPD's role as a primary provider of sales tracking information in a range of merchandise categories. The company will also get sales data from walmart.com.

The agreement covers Walmart merchandise in the entertainment, apparel, home, hardlines (hardware, automotive, etc), and toys categories. No financial terms were disclosed.

“This agreement is truly a game-changer for NPD and for the industry,” Karyn Schoenbart, the NPD president and chief operating officer, said in a prepared statement.

“With Walmart data, we will be able to provide our clients with world class information and solidify our leadership position as the premier source of market insight in our industries," she said.

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