Report: Most Americans Shop at Wal-Mart

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Wal-Mart's shoppers, which now include half of all U.S. primary household shoppers, are a varied bunch -- but its supercenter shoppers are the most loyal, according to a new report from Retail Forward, a consultancy based here.

In Retail Forward's newest Wal-Mart World program report, Wal-Mart Shopper Update, the consultancy makes several observations, including:

• Most Americans shop at Wal-Mart -- and they shop there often. Retail Forward's ShopperScape survey data indicates that half of all U.S. primary household shoppers visit a Wal-Mart store on a monthly basis, and a quarter of America shops at Wal-Mart supercenters weekly.

• Wal-Mart shoppers -- especially the supercenter variety -- are loyal shoppers. Nearly half of shoppers who visited a Wal-Mart supercenter in the last six months are regular weekly shoppers. Retail Forward compares this with the 20 percent of shoppers visiting a SuperTarget store in the past six months who are regular weekly SuperTarget shoppers.

• Two-thirds of Wal-Mart supercenter shoppers cross shop both sides of the store on the same trip.

• Wal-Mart shoppers love a bargain. In addition to Wal-Mart, they regularly patronize other value-oriented retailers as well. Topping the list of other formats that monthly Wal-Mart shoppers shop frequently are other discount department stores, i.e., Target and Kmart, and some small format value retailers, including Dollar Tree and Dollar General.

According to Retail Forward, Wal-Mart is well on its way to achieving its goal of controlling 30 percent market share in every category in which it competes. Retail Forward's ShopperScape survey indicates that Wal-Mart is attracting 30 percent-plus of consumers' dollars in some core categories, e.g., small personal appliances, skin/haircare, housewares, small kitchen appliances, and toys, and several other categories across the store are inching their way toward the 30 percent mark.

"In today's intensely competitive retail environment, it is critical to not only know who your customers are, but also your competitor's [customers]," said Sandy Skrovan, v.p. at Retail Forward and manager of the company's new Wal-Mart World program. "For retailers, moves to differentiate from Wal-Mart must be based on a strategic understanding of your target customer vis-à-vis the Wal-Mart shopper."

The Wal-Mart Shopper Update is the first report in a series of shopper profile and trends/issues reports Retail Forward will publish in its newest Retail Forward Intelligence System program, Wal-Mart World.

Retail Forward's ShopperScape Survey is conducted each month with a sample of 4,000 U.S. primary household shoppers.
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