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    IRI and Wal-Mart in Consumer Panel Deal

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. and CHICAGO -- Consumer intelligence provider Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) said yesterday it is working with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. to create a "new generation of consumer panel services" based on the retailer's defined customer segments.

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. and CHICAGO -- Consumer intelligence provider Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) said yesterday it is working with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. to create a "new generation of consumer panel services" based on the retailer's defined customer segments.

    In addition, IRI said it is engaging in specialized marketing and merchandising analytic services for Wal-Mart. The Chicago-based firm said Wal-Mart will use its panel data, where available, across departments and categories to support supplier collaboration.

    IRI will also provide in-store audit services to help Wal-Mart maximize effectiveness of in-store displays for consumer packaged goods.

    "This unique relationship will enable Wal-Mart and its partners to better understand the Wal-Mart shopping experience, including in-store activity, and thus increase their ability to win at the shelf," said IRI president and c.e.o. Scott W. Klein in a statement.

    This isn't the first collaborative effort for the two companies: Wal-Mart is already leveraging consumer and shopper insights from the IRI RxPulse Patient Panel to better understand the motivations, behaviors, and needs of its healthcare-related shoppers, IRI said.

    IRI said it will now align its IRI Consumer Network Household Panel with Wal-Mart's customer segments to "provide a clear picture of the key consumer dynamics that drive Wal-Mart's brand and category performance." The IRI Consumer Network focuses on consumers' behavior, demographics, and attitudes.

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