NPD: Brands and Retail

Assistant Professor Dee Warmath (center)

Submitted by: Kelsey Hiveley, Junior, Retail

The students in the Retail Leadership Symposium (SoHE) had the pleasure of hearing about the NPD Group from Assistant Professor Dee Warmath.  Professor Warmath is currently living out her young adult dream of being a professor here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison but previously she was the senior vice president at NPD. At the peak of her career in NPD, Warmath was enthusiastically taking up to 120 flights in a year when she shared that each time she landed, “there was a new challenge to tackle.” She is an incredibly intelligent person and a great asset to the University. Before starting her presentation, Professor Warmath gave students a little piece of advice,

You have to follow your dreams and your passion. Don’t feel that if you don’t take certain steps you’re going to miss out. Trust that your path will lead you to a good place in your career.”

NPD is a large organization that works with major brands and retailers around the world.  They work in 19 different countries, on four different continents, the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.  There are 1,700 companies that rely on the information provided by NPD, making them the fastest growing market research company in the business.  The goal of the company is to make the information they have for each company easier to understand and apply to their company.

NPD works directly with companies ranging from big-box stores such as Target and Wal-Mart, to specific brands such as Perry Ellis and Converse. In order to help companies leverage market intelligence NPD helps clients identify white space areas as well as specific growth opportunities. Through NPD’s data analysis, retailers can see a more “holistic” view of their company. The data can help them to understand their marketplace better and to understand the profile of their competitors.  In order to effectively provide market information, NPD developed sales tracking in several industries, and today represents over $1 trillion in sales across the Americas. They also rely heavily on the consumer POS information and online survey panels with over 3 million consumers.

Warmath is confident the future of NPD is strong –  “[the company] bread and butter has been about market vision.”


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