As the vice president of merchandising for beauty at Walmart, one might picture Jody Pinson immersed in big data. After all, Walmart is the largest purveyor of mass-market beauty products in the U.S., if not the world, with domestic beauty sales estimated to exceed $4 billion. (Walmart does not break out category sales and did not comment on estimates.)

The retailer rings up a mind-boggling 140 million transactions per week. And, picture this: Walmart sells 1.6 mascaras every second — or almost 50 million per year.

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