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Walmart provides coveted sales data to NPD's retail reports
Walmart provides coveted sales data to NPD's retail reports
February 3, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

February 3, 2012 | By Eric Caoili
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

The NPD Group has signed an agreement to receive and analyze point-of sale information from Walmart, and will now be able to include data from the major retail chain in its video game sales reports for the U.S.

With actual numbers from Walmart, NPD could provide more accurate information and analysis in its monthly retail game sales reports, which are used by retailers and publishers alike to monitor sales trends.

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter estimates that Walmart captures 25 to 30 percent of U.S. video game retail sales (though he notes that these sales skew more toward casual gamers than the core).

"Adding [Walmart] to NPD means that NPD is going to capture 80 percent or more of all domestic sales, so their data will be far more relevant and reliable than in the past," he tells us.

The market research company had access to Walmart's data more than a decade ago, but in recent years, NPD has relied on its formulas and estimates to see how video game hardware, software, and accessories have sold at the largest retailer in the world.

Walmart's data will join the information NPD already receives from more than 900 retailers, which have over 150,000 locations worldwide. The analyst group will receive figures from both Walmart's retail locations and its website.

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Chris Hendricks
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Whoa... that's hugely valuable.

In other news, Michael Pachter finally makes an estimate that I have no trouble believing is true.

Galen Ryder
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Its interesting that this is happening right as traditional game publishers are starting to transition to digital sales, which have no NPD numbers. The Playstation Vita releasing in two weeks marks the start of Day and Date Digital releases for every game available on a system, which is something new outside of the PC space.

Mike Lopez
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Galen, NPD is indeed struggling to stay relevant as digital and specifically social and mobile continues to eat into the user base and sales of Retail game distribution.

Blayne Watt
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Well, that's going to make the NPD data less useful to me... the top 5 items will all be Cabela's Deer Hunter games... :P

Joe McGinn
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Spot on, Mike. And not only social and mobile, but core free-to-play games like League of Legends. Walmart is nice for NPD, better data is good, but does not address their main challenge.