Over the years, Walmart has attempted to attract a more upscale audience in the U.S. When its efforts have fallen short, Walmart has been accused of losing sight of its core customer base.
The same issue does not appear to have dogged Walmart in Canada, according to new research by Ipsos Reid, which found that 72 percent of Canadian households with $1 million or more in investable assets (not including their home or personal possessions) have shopped in the retailer's stores over the past year. That's a higher percentage than have shopped at The Bay (70 percent) and Sears Canada (54 percent) during the same period.
So why does Walmart, which claims to get at least one visit a month from 60 percent of American households, attract such affluent shoppers in Canada while apparently failing to do so in its home country? Is the answer more about how Walmart is different in the two countries or about the differences in how affluent Americans and Canadians shop?
The primary factors behind where Canadian millionaires shop, according to Ipsos Reid, are:
Respondents named "good value for the price" most often as the leading why behind their buys. Across one category after another — clothing, computers, cosmetics, wine, etc. — value was given as the top reason for choosing a particular brand.
In an e-mail to RetailWire, an Ipsos spokesperson said the company has not conducted research similar to the Canadian study in the U.S.
Agree or disagree: Walmart can attract many more affluent consumers in the U.S. without losing its core customer base.