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While this next story is bound to trigger a twinkle in the eyes of our core grocery retailer readers, we would be remiss if we failed to mention our belief that it’s never prudent to cheer a competitor’s misfortune -- no matter how tempting it might be -- lest the fickle finger of fate ricochet with an about-face dose of dreadful karma in return.
Having said that, in the face of six straight quarters of same-store sales declines, Walmart is potentially facing a serious perception issue with customers, who are seeking – and finding – mo’ better opportunities for lower prices with some of its competitors, according to results of a recent survey of 1,800 Wal-Mart shoppers in September by Blueocean Market Intelligence.
In examining how changes in consumer shopping habits are impacting sales at the world’s largest retailer, the survey by the Scottsdale, Ariz. based market research firm found that among of shoppers leaving Wal-Mart, more than half said they didn't view the retailer as a low-price leader, with many finding competitors more affordable and convenient.
Key highlights of the Blueocean survey, titled Walmart Customers Rolling Back include:
-Many Walmart shoppers are spending less overall, due to continued pessimism about the economy.
-A decline in Walmart shopping trips appears to be driven by customer loss rather than reduced shopping frequency among current customers.
-Among those leaving Walmart, more than half don’t view Walmart as the “low-price leader.”
-Many who have reduced their Walmart spending report they are finding competitors more affordable and convenient.
-Project Impact, a remodeling effort designed to attract higher income shoppers and reduce clutter, has negatively affected customers’ attitudes about Walmart’s variety and brand selection.
-Walmart isn’t well positioned for economic recovery. Price alone may not lure shoppers from competitors, as most believe Walmart lags on service, variety and quality.
-While overall sales have declined, customers are spending more in select departments including grocery, pet, health and beauty, baby products, and toys and games.
To review a summary or purchase the full report, visit http://www.blueoceanmi.com.