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GMDC, Nielsen release new GM Hierarchy data

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Global Market Development Center (GMDC) and Nielsen have refreshed their proprietary GMDC/Nielsen General Merchandise Hierarchy data set.

GMDC said Wednesday that the research provides a detailed look at GM category sales and trends in the food and drug channels, as well as across all retail channels. The GM Hierarchy reports data from more than 12,900 stores and includes 30 million SKUs and 190 food channel retailers, while measuring 18 mega-categories and hundreds of subcategories.

“Over the past two years, the GMDC/Nielsen GM Hierarchy has become an industry standard,” stated Tom Duffy, vice president of industry services at Nielsen. “This tool allows companies both large and small to access deeper insights, category and benchmark trends that deliver greater confidence as trading partners build strategies to drive towards growth together.”

General merchandise_Rite Aid seasonal aisleAccording to GMDC, initial insights showed that a third of all outlet sales come from GM and that the gross margin in the category is generally nearly twice as high as the gross margin of other categories in store.

There’s good news for grocery retailers who invest in GM, added GMDC. With the food channel representing 16%, or $32 billion, of all GM sales, the bottom-line contribution of GM sales in the retail channel is significantly higher than other categories, the group noted, adding that an expansion of GM in the food channel can help retailers boost wallet share of GM and reduce sales leakage to online retailers.

“Aisles carrying general merchandise are clearly a major part of the shopper experience and household spend,” explained Mark Mechelse, director of research, industry insights and communications at GMDC. “The refresh of this GM Hierarchy data gives our retail members a road map of profitability to defend the base and grow the space. In other words, through stocking innovative products and investing in attention-grabbing displays, retailers can turn the GM space they already have into a destination for shoppers. At the same time, this can be a merchandising opportunity to grow other areas of the store through adjacency.”

The GMDC/Nielsen GM Hierarchy was created in a partnership between GMDC and Nielsen as a tool to track and create visibility to key sales data by product in the GM categories. During the course of the project, over 800 syndicated reports were built, and Nielsen coded more than 20 million UPCs.

The hierarchy organizes and quantifies GM category data to increase marketplace performance and provide a better understanding of the GM categories. Eighteen major categories are identified and defined as Level 1 in the GM Hierarchy, including apparel, baby, candy, and electronics and personal entertainment. Each Level 1 category is then divided further down the scale, based on its level of detail.

According to GMDC, this organizational structure enables retailers to gauge channel activity and sales trends in GM while only having to search one resource.

“Data from the GM Hierarchy is reliable and accurate and gives us a true view of where the market is trending and what the consumer wants,” commented Scott Galey, director of sales at Newell Rubbermaid. “It has proven to be an integral part of our strategic planning and selling process because we can focus on building areas where we know we’ll see higher sales and profit margins.”

Last month, Kristin Gorski, director of new business development at Nielsen, moderated a panel discussion (see video above) on the metrics and exclusive information that the GM Hierarchy provides GMDC members, from a supplier and service company perspective. Participants included GMDC’s Mechelse, Scott Bradshaw of Bradshaw International and Michelle King of Earthtronics.


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