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Kimberly Clark: Data-Driven Merchandising

Leveraging Walmart Luminate Charter Insights to Optimize Facial Tissue Shelving Strategy

This case study was shared live at theWalmart Data Ventures Inspire Event, October 17, 2023.

Kimberly-Clark found an opportunity in the tissue category to deliver a better shopping experience for customers. Using Walmart Luminate Charter, they leveraged customer data and remapped the modular to meet customer needs and add excitement at the shelf. 

Understanding facial tissue variants

The facial tissue industry is trending 11.2% higher than 2022 for a projected total of $893MM in 2023. This dynamic growth happens across four major variants that serve different purposes:

  • Ultra soft – The flagship brands with high quality fibers for daily use
  • Lotion – Tissues with soothing properties
  • Mainline – Value-oriented tissues 
  • Additives – A newer assortment enhanced with relevant solutions, like antibacterial 

When Kimberly-Clark evaluated the total tissue industry landscape, they found that Walmart was falling behind in category growth. Walmart secured just 6.7% growth against 12.6% in the remaining market. An essential piece of this equation is the additives category, scoring just 1% growth at Walmart vs 4% in the industry, but boasting an average customer spend at 26% higher than other facial tissue subcategories.

Seizing the opportunity, Kimberly-Clark then dug into the numbers with the Switching and Basket reports in Shopper Behavior. What they found was encouraging:

  • 74% of customer volume for additives was new category buyers 
  • Group switching in the category was only around 10%, indicating that additives tissues were basket builders
  • Switching activity was spread across many other products, indicating no clear competing product that occupied the same niche
  • Nearly 35% of all transactions in additives included 2+ units in the basket, providing strong evidence that customers would support multi-packs

The multi-pack modular

With this information, Kimberly-Clark moved quickly to create an adjusted modular that boasted two additives offerings and associated multipacks across 437 test stores. 

The post-modular growth results were impressive:

  • Base stores saw 5.6% pre-modular dollar growth vs YA. After the mod that changed to 5.9% for an increase of 30 basis points
  • Stores with the additives test saw 6.9% pre-modular dollar growth vs YA. After the mod they surged to 10.6% for 370 basis points of growth
  • Following the test, additives stores were growing sales at nearly 2x the rate of base stores

Winning the season

After only 13 weeks, the Shopper Behavior Cross Shop report began to show that tissue variants were being increasingly purchased together ahead of cough, cold, and flu season–the busiest time of year for the category. Additives facial tissues were purchased frequently alongside other items, pointing to category expansion rather than cannibalization. The Trial and Repeat report indicated a marked increase in purchase frequency as well for stores boasting the new modular. 

With the timely insights provided by Shopper Behavior, Kimberly-Clark was able to identify customer behaviors and act on solutions before the most critical season for the facial tissue category. The category is now poised for growth as the additives modulars are scaled to more stores to better serve Walmart customers. Explore the Kimberly-Clark case study to learn more.


Proprietary First-Party Data, Walmart Luminate 2023