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Walmart lifts ban on sales data

Retail giant to share scanner data with Nielsen, NPD and others

The U.S. retail giant Walmart has lifted the decade long ban on third-party access to its sales data, Advertising Age reports.

The move will allow Nielsen Co., NPD Group, and other research companies to analyse scanner data from all U.S. Walmart and Sam's Club stores. It will also cover "historical" data, though the exact period covered is still unclear.

"We're raring to go," said Nielsen spokeswoman Jennifer Frighetto, "and starting to work with [Wal-Mart] and train them and we will be providing new views of our U.S. industry numbers. It's a big impact."

"Walmart will be sharing their data with other providers as well. What's different here is that Nielsen is the primary provider. So they'll be using our data and tools. We'll be training Walmart on using this data that they haven't been using for so long."

For years, research companies have attempted to fill the gap left by Walmart's absent data with consumer panels and advanced modelling. The end of the ban is expected to make sales figures considerably more accurate.

According to Cindy Davis, Walmart's executive vice president of global consumer insights, the deal was motivated by the need for, "deeper insights into customer purchasing - and unmet needs - both nationally and in key local markets."

Walmart is one of the largest game retailers in the U.S., launching its Gamecenter website last year, and subsequently announcing a partnership with Gaikai.

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.

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