In 1923, Nielsen was founded and incorporated in Chicago by Arthur C. Nielsen. Today, nearly 100 years later, we are thrilled to announce that Nielsen’s Global Consumer Business will be headquartered in Chicago as we move forward in our journey to becoming a stand-alone company in 2021.
There are so many reasons we’re excited to call Chicago home (besides the deep-dish pizza). Take a look at the top five reasons we’re excited to build new roots in Chicago!
A place to be “us”: A diverse fit for our diverse, global organization
Operating in over 90 global markets, Chicago will serve as a diverse gateway to our diverse consumer footprint. Chicago is a global city filled with tremendous opportunity and is home to an array of distinctive and dynamic neighbourhoods that reflect the diversity of its population and our associates.
We believe that diversity in people and ideas allows us — and our clients — to be successful. We’re focusing on driving impact by increasing diverse representation among associates, enacting diverse slates, hiring from diverse talent pools and expanding our inclusive hiring practices. As part of our commitment to the city of Chicago includes partnering with underserved communities, colleges, and universities for internship and training opportunities. These efforts will equip candidates with the skills and confidence they need to make a positive impact in their lives and their communities.
A place to grow: A springboard for talent and tech-driven development
Chicago’s unique offering of quality of life, talent, and a competitive business climate make it an ideal choice to grow our business. Reestablishing our status as a longstanding member of this vibrant community, the Chicago office employs a team of more than 600 people, including some of our most forward-thinking technologists who are helping to reshape the future of our business. Coupled with efforts by state leadership to prioritize tech and innovation, building our new headquarters in downtown Chicago will allow us to grow and thrive.
Talented employees, and a talent pipeline, are of the utmost importance as we are committed to adding at least 50 new jobs over the next two years. Today, Chicago is a global city, a thriving center of international trade and commerce. The state has continued to invest in tools to attract tech growth as part of its five-year economic plan, which will help the state seize on over 15,000 tech jobs expected to come to Illinois in the next five years alone.
A place for change: Opportunities to drive community impact and positive change
Chicago itself is home to 2,716,450 residents, 50 wards, 77 community areas, and 100 dynamic neighborhoods. Through responsible, sustainable business practices and our commitment to giving back, we care for the communities and markets where we live and operate our business.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of the end of July, 13.3% of Illinois adults lived in households that didn’t have enough to eat at some point in the previous week, up from 10.6% in early May. This is just one small area we hope to make a positive community impact by actively volunteering and engaging in the communities in which we live and work. In fact, since 2016, our business has logged more than 400,000 volunteer hours globally, easily surpassing our goal of 300,000 by 2020 and we have given back more than $10 million in pro bono data for good efforts.
“I say repeatedly that the world can be a better place because we exist. We have the power, platform, talent, and ability to make real differences in the world—and we’re going to not only do our part but also do better,” said David Rawlinson, CEO of Nielsen’s Global Consumer Business. We are committed to being an active member of the Chicago community, engaging in philanthropic activities, and giving back to make this an even stronger, more vibrant place to live and work. In order to encourage community involvement, Nielsen provides all associates 24 hours of dedicated volunteer time annually. These hours can be used on Nielsen Global Impact Day or throughout the year for group events or individual volunteering that’s meaningful to them in the communities in which they live and work.
A place to invest: Catalyst to the CPG industry
Chicago is of growing importance to the CPG industry. Chicago is home to several members of the open, technology-forward Nielsen Connect Partner Network, including MediaFly, a sales enablement solution provider, and Strategic Solutions International (SSI), a woman- and minority-owned boutique category growth management firm focused on the multicultural beauty space.
Sales growth is uniquely strong in Chicago for many CPG categories. Compared with the U.S. as a whole, the Chicago market has been a strong growth bed for a variety of products.
A place to remember: This is where it all started and somewhere with growing notoriety
From humble beginnings in Chicago back in 1923, nearly 100 years later, our consumer business will break ground from familiar territory. “Nielsen was founded in Chicago, Arthur Nielsen revolutionized consumer measurement and data here, and becoming a separate company is an opportunity to return our headquarters back to our original home. We believe that Chicago is a great place to build upon our technology lead and continue to disrupt the industry,” says Rawlinson. “Coupled with Chicago’s long-standing reputation for diverse talent, establishing our headquarters here will help us on our journey to define the future of e-commerce measurement and data, and build a world-class culture.”
And it’s not just Nielsen that is excited by all things Chicago. COVID-19 has driven sharp sales growth for many CPG products and those with clear ties to the city of Chicago are benefitting from recent demand, too. Across the U.S., products with associations to “Chicago” on the package (i.e., “Chicago Style”) have seen 20% in sales growth in the latest year and 30% growth in the latest 12 weeks, both periods ended Aug. 22, 2020.