Nielsen's consumer spending data is about to get a lot richer.
The company has inked a new agreement with big-box retailer Walmart under which the latter will share sales information with the data and research company.
Nielsen said it marked the return of the retail giant to the "consumer-packaged goods industry's information sharing model" after a roughly 10-year absence.
The Walmart figures (including sibling chain Sam's Club) will be integrated with Nielsen's huge database of sales information collected from most of the nation's food, drug, big-box, convenience and dollar-store retailers.
The new data will fill a major gap in Nielsen's offering, given that an estimated 100 million shoppers visit a Walmart each week. And while same-store sales at the company have been down the last couple of years, annual revenue last year was still a staggering $400-plus billion.
John Lewis, president and CEO, North America Consumer, Nielsen, stated: "We believe that Walmart's participation in the information sharing model reinforces the importance of business information and analytics in today's retail climate."
The deal is effective immediately, although a Nielsen rep said it would take several months for Nielsen to integrate the Walmart data into its systems so that clients will be able to view it. The rep confirmed that Nielsen will have access to all sales data across Walmart's U.S. stores, including Walmarts, Sam's Clubs and Neighborhood Markets.
Walmart stopped sharing data 10 years ago to keep closer tabs on it.
Cindy Davis, executive vice president, global customer insights at Walmart, stated that the new deal "will provide Walmart and Sam's Club with deeper insights into customer purchasing -- and unmet needs -- both nationally and in key local markets."
Davis said the giant retailer would "share our point-of-sale information to help us identify category growth opportunities sooner and collaborate with our manufacturer partners to develop more impactful customer-driven programs going forward."