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    Food Lion Working with Nielsen to Sharpen Shopper Intel

    The chain has signed on for more targeted data that will allow it to zero in on customer behavior.

    Food Lion, LLC said yesterday that it had renewed its agreement on marketing information with The Nielsen Company, and will use Nielsen's latest tools and services to view each of its stores and their customer bases in depth.

    The pipeline to Nielsen data specific to its stores will also help Food Lion get a better handle on the shopping habits of its customers, market intelligence that will in turn feed Food Lion's vendor support program. (Progressive Grocer is published by Nielsen Business Media, a subsidiary of The Nielsen Company.)

    The chain, headquartered in Salisbury, N.C., said it will use the data from Nielsen to understand customers' purchase behavior and green attitudes, to better target promotions and messages based on the product or brand preferences of its own shoppers.

    The data accurately matches Food Lion's product hierarchy in its market areas and will provide food manufacturers and other vendors with more consistent classifications. By fully matching product categories within its internal reporting system, the data will pave the way for more effective discussions with vendors, according to Charlie Davis, v.p., business strategy at Food Lion.

    The grocer will also have the ability to analyze the shopping location preferences of consumers based on where they live, and compare specific store sales to those of competitors in the same area. This type of information can aid in store performance evaluation and possible new store locations.

    The Nielsen Company, based in Schaumburg, Ill., is a global information and media company.

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