Nielsen: Affluent Favor Cable TV, Warehouse Clubs
According to U.S. Census estimates, 17% of U.S. households are affluent--earning a household income of $100,000+. That number is projected to rise to 22% by 2010. In such households, cable TV is a staple, with favorites including The Golf Channel, BBC America, CNN Headline News, CNBC and ESPN.
According to Todd Hale, senior vice president, Consumer & Shopper Insights for Nielsen Homescan & Spectra, their regular visits to sites like CNN, ESPN, The Weather Channel, Google and AOL represent "a real opportunity for retailers to extend their traditional thinking about media to include the Internet, developing more interactive programming, more tailored specials and more engaging content that can differentiate their stores and sustain a dialogue with their customers."
On the print front, the affluent are avid readers, likely to subscribe to magazines such as BusinessWeek, Money, Golf, Newsweek and Consumer Reports. As for radio, they are fans of classical radio, news/talk programming, sports shows, jazz and alternative/modern rock offerings.
Nielsen analysts found that the affluent household profile trends toward larger white families, with household heads working in white-collar jobs, female heads of household between the ages of 35 and 54, and residency in one of 17 major Nielsen markets.
While well-heeled consumers shop the mainstream retail channels, they're also more than twice as likely to patronize a warehouse club store like CostCo or Sam's Club--and 9% more likely to frequent a mass merchandiser--than consumers with household incomes of $20,000 or less.
"Affluent shopper DNA is all about product quality and variety, with value as an added bonus," says Hale. "The poor need low prices, and the rich love low prices."
But the wealthy don't visit any mass merchant: They choose ones they perceive as offering variety and quality, including Target and Wal-Mart.
Affluent consumers are also big fans of alternate outlets that offer wide product selection, competitive prices and knowledgeable salespeople. In addition to department stores, they favor niche outlets like office supply, electronics, pet and liquor stores, news/bookstores and hardware/home improvement centers.