GMDC, Nielsen and Retail Insights Launch Enhanced GM Hierarchy Benchmarking Tool

New robust dashboard offers GMDC members exclusive access to deeper insights and a customized lens into the $202 billion General Merchandise marketplace


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Global Market Development Center (GMDC) – an association that connects its retail, supplier and wholesale members to advance innovation in the marketplace – in partnership with Nielsen and Retail Insights, have launched an upgraded GM Hierarchy research tool for a more intuitive user experience and deeper levels of analytics across multiple categories.

GMDC, Nielsen and Retail Insights launched the proprietary tool in mid-2012 to offer GMDC members the first standardized and detailed look into the $202 billion GM industry. The platform showcases 18 major categories including Apparel, Baby, Candy, and Housewares with hundreds of sub-categories. The Nielsen coded data, which is reported from thousands of stores across the North American market, can be filtered by various channels for comparison, and includes more than 20 million SKUs.

“When we launched this powerful tool for our members five years ago, we did so with a goal to connect our members to developing GM industry trends,” said Patrick Spear, GMDC President and CEO. “Our new dashboard is simple, easy to navigate, and remains an invaluable resource for retailers and suppliers as they access sales information at our events, develop future strategies to deepen trading partner relations, and curate the right mix of sku’s to grow retail sales and profit margins.”

The updated platform offers a single resource for accessing deep levels of data to gauge channel activity and sales trends by each quarter. L1 category data provides top line category information used to track macro trends, while subcategory L2 and segment L3 offers a more detailed view into segmentation and item specifics. There are now multiple options for downloading data tables, seasonal charts and market share graphs for further analysis or for importing into customized presentations.

“The GM Hierarchy offers our organization a comprehensive view to better understand shopping trends and compare our performance to the total retail market. Anything that puts us closer to our customers is crucial as we seek insights into the basket,” says Rick Cicero, Director of Merchandising at C&S Wholesale. “The rich data helps my team make decisions, ask questions, and execute next-practices.”

Participants at GMDC’s annual GM Conference find the data particularly relevant as they forge relationships and prepare for the organization’s signature SECCCC, and MOR meetings.

“For wholesalers with the unique challenge of choosing and stocking products, the data provides a clear perspective on relative category and subcategory size and performance trends they cannot get anywhere else,” says Jeffrey Williams, SVP Retail Business Development at Nielsen. “Through true collaboration, we’re equipping GMDC members with the data they need to make data-fueled decisions to help prioritize goals, highlight the top performers, and track underperformers. For suppliers, the data helps them defend a position, allowing sales managers to identify opportunities with customers. Accurate trends across sub-categories enhances partner engagement to accurately compare current product offerings to other sub-categories in the midst of prioritization product development decisions.”

The GMDC/Nielsen GM Hierarchy is powered by Retail Insights who offer a number of resources to maximize the user experience including a user manual, how-to-guide, and training tutorial that may be viewed at: For additional information, visit