Some Prefer to Keep Trips to Wal-Mart a Secret
have been tough and many consumers that wouldn’t have stepped foot in a
Wal-Mart a few years ago are doing it today. The problem is, some of these
same well-heeled yet frugal shoppers admit to being somewhat embarrassed
by their trips to the retailer’s stores.
real estate broker from Scotch Plains, NJ, who asked not to be identified,
"I really hate shopping in the store because the lines are always too
long at the checkout but the prices are so low on groceries. In the past
we would normally shop at Wegmans or King’s for
just about everything but it’s hard to justify spending twice as much on
ice cream at one of those stores when we can come here."
broker added, "Of course, when the market picks up again, we’re probably
not going to be so concerned with saving $10 or $20 by shopping here when
there are so many more choices at Wegmans."
has done a great job of attracting more affluent consumers as the economy
turned downward. According the Eduardo Castro-Wight, vice chairman of Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc., 17 percent of the company’s store traffic comes from new
households. These new shoppers are spending 40 percent more
than the average Wal-Mart customer. Fifty-five percent have annual incomes
has proven itself a winner in this tough economy. Shoppers have really
resonated with the retailer’s ‘Save money, live better’ brand promise," Jennifer Halterman,
senior consultant at Retail Forward, told The Dallas Morning News. "Wal-Mart
also is positioning itself to retain shoppers post-economic turnaround
with its newly remodeled stores, enhanced portfolio of brands and overall
improved shopping experience."
long-time shoppers are not altogether happy with the changes Wal-Mart has
"It looks nice,
but they don’t have as much stuff," Gail Thompson of Plano told the Morning
Will Wal-Mart Stores be able to hold on to its new, more affluent shoppers
when the economy rebounds? Does the company risk losing its core customer
by making changes that attract shoppers with higher incomes?