How Target and Wal-Mart polarise discount shoppers

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on September 21, 2005

In their continuing battle for the hearts, minds, and wallets of discount shoppers, US discount retailers Target and Wal-Mart are finding brand loyalty in increasingly different consumer groups, according to a report from market research firm Scarborough Research.

Scarborough Research, which regularly examines and identifies the shopping, media and lifestyle trends of adult consumers in the USA, has published its analysis of Wal-Mart and Target shoppers. The company found that both retailers are now attracting distinct customer bases, and that the household shopping patterns of the Wal-Mart-exclusive shopper are very different to those of the Target-exclusive shopper.

Wal-Mart's faithful
According to the report, Wal-Mart (which is known for cut-throat prices) is attracting a consumer group that concentrates most of its household shopping centrally. When Scarborough analysed 24 other US retailers, it found that Wal-Mart-exclusive shoppers are less likely than average to have shopped at all but four on the list. Those retailers that are more popular than average among Wal-Mart-exclusive shoppers are also discount stores (notably including Dollar General, Family Dollar, Big Lots and K-Mart).

Target's faithful
Target, however, is known for featuring merchandise from designers who are also popular among the couture set (Isaac Mizrahi and Simply Shabby Chic are a few of the luxury brands that have lines at Target). Consequently, Target-exclusive shoppers are likely to have also shopped at relatively upscale stores such as Nordstrom and Macy's. These consumers also are avid shoppers in general. Of the 24 other retailers, Target-exclusive shoppers are more likely than average to shop at 15 of them.