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Data tracking tool for GMDC members gets upgrade

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A resource tool originally designed to help Global Market Development Center (GMDC) members track and understand marketplace data has been upgraded to provide a more intuitive user experience and deeper levels of analytics.

The updated GM Hierarchy was launched on Wednesday by GMDC in partnership with Nielsen and Retail Insights LLC.

“When we launched this powerful tool for our members five years ago, we did so with a goal to connect our members to developing GM [general merchandise] industry trends,” said Patrick Spear, GMDC’s president and chief executive officer. “Our new dashboard is simple, easy to navigate and remains an invaluable resource for retailers and suppliers as they access sales information at our events, develop future strategies to deepen trading partner relations and curate the right mix of SKUs to grow retail sales and profit margins.”

In developing the tool, the partners applied a new hierarchy to GM items to bring clarity to a number of front-end categories. The categories were established with input from retailers and consumers. The improved visibility into product segment activity has helped put retailers closer to their customers, according to GMDC.

The platform showcases 18 major categories in the $202 billion GM industry, including apparel, candy and housewares, as well as hundreds of subcategories. Nielsen’s coded data, which is reported from thousands of stores across North America, can be filtered by channel for comparison, and includes more than 20 million SKUs, the partners said.

The updated platform offers a single resource for accessing deep levels of data to gauge channel activity and sales trends by each quarter. L1 category data provide top-line category information used to track macro trends, while subcategory L2 and segment L3 offer a more detailed view into segmentation and item specifics, GMDC said. There are now multiple options for downloading data tables, seasonal charts and market share graphs for further analysis or for importing into customized presentations.

Participants at GMDC’s annual GM Conference find the data particularly relevant as they forge relationships and prepare for the organization’s signature SEC, CCC and MOR meetings, GMDC asserted.

“For wholesalers with the unique challenge of choosing and stocking products, the data provides a clear perspective on relative category and subcategory size and performance trends they cannot get anywhere else,” Jeffrey Williams, Nielsen senior vice president for retail business development, said in a statement. “Through true collaboration, we are equipping GMDC members with the data they need to make data-fueled decisions to help prioritize goals, highlight the top performers and track underperformers. For suppliers, the data helps them defend a position, allowing sales managers to identify opportunities with customers. Accurate trends across subcategories enhance partner engagement to accurately compare current product offerings to other subcategories in the midst of prioritization product development decisions.”

The upgraded hierarchy should allow C&S Wholesale Grocers to improve distribution of everything from soup to soap to its retail customers, according to Rick Cicero, the company’s merchandising director. “The GM Hierarchy offers our organization a comprehensive view to better understand shopping trends and compare our performance to the total retail market. Anything that puts us closer to our customers is crucial as we seek insights into the basket,” Cicero said. “The rich data helps my team make decisions, ask questions and execute next practices.”


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