Opportunities In A Fragmented And Transitory Marketplace

Opportunities In A Fragmented And Transitory Marketplace

It’s not news that a conservative merchandising strategy is the current program, but here’s some updated consumer activity that will help in targeting that strategy.

According to the BIGresearch monthly Consumer Intentions and Action Survey, dismal sentiment about the economy is driving more consumers to practicality…50.1% now say they’ve become more practical consumers in the last 6 months, continuing upward trend begun in July. Practical consumers continue to pay down debt (45.9%) and decrease overall spending (39.6%), which remain the top 2 financial steps. Increasing savings is still in #3 spot. Only 7.0% of consumers say they will buy stocks.

Purchase intentions for durables remain relatively unchanged as international issues continue to wreak havoc on consumer expenditures. Up slightly: car/truck, computer, home appliances, house, jewelry/watch, stereo equipment. Down slightly: furniture, major home improvement/repair, TV/VCR/DVD.

The biggest mover this month is vacation travel, which continued its seasonal increase and rose almost 2%. However, 34.8% of consumers say war with Iraq would negatively affect vacation spending.

Price (65.1%) and selection (55.5%) rule as top reasons to shop at women’s clothing stores… Top 5 stores shopped most often for women’s clothing:
1. WalMart
2. JC Penney
3. Kohls
4. Kmart
5. Target

Top 5 for men’s clothing remains unchanged from January:
1. WalMart
2. JC Penney
3. Sears
4. Kohls
5. Kmart

WalMart knocks Payless out of the top spot for shoes. The new Top 5 for shoes:
1. WalMart
2. Payless
3. Kmart
4. Sears
5. JC Penney

The top 5 choices for groceries are:
1. WalMart
2. Kroger
3. Safeway
4. Albertsons
5. Publix

Home Improvement/Hardware continues to be dominated by Home Depot and Lowes. Top 5:
1. Home Depot
2. Lowes
3. Menards
4. WalMart
5. ACE Hardware

Finally, in the 90 Day Forecast for retail merchandise categories, the conditions are becoming more favorable, according to the BIGresearch diffusion index. (Those who say they will spend less subtracted from those who say they will spend more.)

Retail Merchandise Categories - 90 Day Outlook

  • Children's UP*
  • Toys and Games UP
  • Women's Dress UP
  • CDs/DVDs/Videos/Books UP
  • Women's Casual UP
  • Electronics UP
  • Men's Dress UP
  • Groceries UP
  • Men's Casual UP
  • Home Improvement UP
  • Shoes UP
  • Lawn & Garden UP
  • HBA UP
  • Home Furniture UP
  • Dining out UP
  • Decorative Home Furnishings UP
  • Sporting Goods UP
*DOWN/UP/FLAT = Compared to January

(c) 2003, BIGresearch

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