Wal-Mart Stands to Benefit from Growing U.S. Consumer Stinginess

Includes: TGT, WMT
by: Marketing Charts

U.S. consumers are growing increasingly stingy with their money and are becoming more and more likely to base their retail purchase decisions on price, according to a study from The Gordman Group, which reports that Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) stands to benefit most from this phenomenon.

According to Retailer Daily, The Gordman Group’s Spring “Retail Trend Tracker Survey,” reveals that 90% of respondents say the economy has affected how much they spend, and 80% say the economy has affected where they shop. In the last three months, 45% of respondents have spent less, and 31% expect to spend less in the next three months. More than half, 59%, believe the economy is getting worse, and almost half, 49%, say the economy has affected them directly.

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Cost over Comfort

When asked to select from a range of factors that most affect their purchase of apparel or home items, 21% of respondents selected price. The next most popular responses, “the item is on sale” and “having the style I want,” were each selected by 14% of respondents.

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These findings indicate that for one-third of respondents, a monetary factor is the most important aspect in their purchase decision. The least-popular factor, “having self-checkout,” was only selected by 1% of respondents. Other customer comfort factors, such as convenience of the store, customer service, and return policy, were selected by a combined 22% of respondents.

Wal-Mart Wins Again

More than half of respondents (54%) in the study plan to spend a larger share of their budget at Wal-Mart in 2009 than they did in 2008. The next-most-popular response to this question, internet stores, was only selected by 27% of respondents as a destination where they will spend more money this year. Only 25% of respondents say they will spend more money in 2009 at chief Wal-Mart rival Target (NYSE:TGT), the Gordman Group found.

About the study: The Retail Trend Tracker Survey was conducted online, April 2-5, 2009, among members of households who reported spending the most on apparel and home furnishings items. Of 526 participants, 367 were female and 158 were male.

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