The Global Market Development Center (GMDC) has now enabled member access to the GM Hierarchy, a general merchandise sales tracking tool developed with Nielsen.

Global Market Development Center, GMDC, GM Hierarchy, general merchandise, sales tracking tool, Nielsen, sales data, Tom Duffy, Cheryl Taylor, retail merchandising, Kinney Drug, H-E-B, Bill Anderson

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GMDC launches GM sales tracking tool

March 4th, 2014

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Global Market Development Center (GMDC) has now enabled member access to the GM Hierarchy, a general merchandise sales tracking tool developed with Nielsen.

GMDC said Monday that the GM Hierarchy, available in the members-only myGMDC website, tracks and provides visibility into key sales data by product in GM categories that was previously unavailable to the industry in a consolidated, easy-to-follow format.

The GM Hierarchy organizes and quantifies GM categories, providing visibility into product segment activity, according to GMDC There are 18 major categories identified and defined as Level 1 in the GM Hierarchy, including apparel, baby, candy, electronics and personal entertainment. Each Level 1 category is then divided further down the scale based on its level of detail. That allows retailers to only have to search a single source to gauge channel activity and sales trends in the GM sector. 

During the GM Hierarchy development project, more than 800 syndicated reports were built, and Nielsen coded over 20 million UPCs, making it possible to consistently code and follow all GM products in the grocery channel, GMDC noted.

"The intent of the study is to advocate for general merchandise by presenting the facts related to GM, the interpretation of those facts, and key insights that will allow both retailers and suppliers to take full advantage of the enhanced contribution margin and consumer loyalty associated with executing a comprehensive GM program," Tom Duffy, vice president of industry services for the consumer group at Nielsen, said in a statement.

A panel discussion at the Fall GMDC General Merchandise Conference shed light on how the new GM Hierarchy tool, at the time still in development, can enhance business.

"We're really interested in getting to know who the consumer is, what they're looking for, what they're shopping for and what their shopping behaviors are," explained panelist Cheryl Taylor, director of retail merchandising at Kinney Drug. "These reports are going to help us get to where we need to be in various categories. We have to make sure that we offer the products that everyone is looking for."

The GM Hierarchy will provide insight into GM and health, beauty and wellness (HBW) product activity at H-E-B, according to Bill Anderson, group vice president of drug store, beauty, GM, floral and services at the Texas food and drug chain.

"This will be the most valuable resource and useful tool to organize our GM and HBW aisles than we've ever had before. The collaboration and output between GMDC and Nielsen will quickly become an application our buyers will constantly refer to," Anderson commented. “The cost of such a program will pay dividends and change the way we see our business."

To access the GM Hierarchy, GMDC members log into their myGMDC account and visit the Services Center. A GMDC white paper that provides an overview of the GM Hierarchy is available on the GMDC website.

GMDC added that it plans to host a free GMDC Connect videocast featuring Stuart Taylor, vice president of custom analytics at Nielsen, to demonstrate how to use the sales data from the GM Hierarchy tool. The videocast is scheduled for March 27 at 1:00 to 1:45 p.m. ET.

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