Wal-Mart Not Immune to Crisis, But Still Best Option for Cash Strapped Consumers

 |  Includes: TGT, WMT
by: Geezeo

MSSI statistics from this month show that even behemoth Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), is not immune to significant swings in consumer spending, comparing the retailer with its competitor Target (NYSE:TGT).

Through February data average Geezeo user spending per month has fallen overall 0.21% from November ’08, whereas at Target monthly spending has increased 5.19% over the same period.

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So given the similar product selection and nationwide dispersal of both stores, what could account for this divergence?

Looking at the spending trends over all of last year reveals that consumers have actually increased their spending at both Wal-Mart and Target significantly. From January ’08 the average amount spent at each retailer has increased by 42.24% and 18.50% respectively. Year-on-year comparisons also indicate significant increases rising by 37.24% at Wal-Mart stores and a less but still impressive 10% at Target locations.

Why has Wal-Mart seen such higher gains? From the amount spent per visit to each big box store, it is clear that Wal-Mart shoppers are doing more of their shopping at the lowest-cost option.

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Spending per trip among Geezeo users at Wal-Mart has increased by 3% since November and 28.68% overall from January 2008, which is far better than the more than 2% and 0% changes in per trip cost at Target.

In an environment where every dollar counts for many consumers, expect Wal-Mart to remain the best option into the future, especially since so far this March the amount spent per trip is averaging a further 3% more.

This data was compiled by the Geezeo Main Street Spending Index (MSSI).