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    Walmart, Target Among ARG/Inmar’s Retail ‘Winners’

    Only 3 retailers retained 70% or more of customer base

    According to a retail report from America’s Research Group and Inmar revealing the retail “Winners and Losers of 2013,” just three of the 24 retailers surveyed three kept 70 percent or more of their customer base: Walmart was at the top, with 88.1 percent, followed by Dollar Tree, at 80.4 percent, and Target, at 72.1 percent.

    The bottom five retailers were Barnes & Noble, at 43.9 percent; Costco, at 49.4 percent; Marshalls, at 50 percent; Toys R Us, at 53.1 percent; and Lowe’s, at 56 percent.

    Of consumers not yet done with their holiday shopping, 22.2 percent (compared with 15.9 percent last year) said it was because they weren’t getting the really big discounts; these shoppers noted that they planned to wait until the last three days to finish buying Christmas presents.

    'Doubtful Future'

    “The key to retailing success is retaining at least 70 percent or more customer base,” said Britt Beemer, chairman and CEO of America’s Research Group. “The research shows that most retailers did a lousy job of keeping their customers home this year. In fact, only two, Walmart and Dollar Tree, did an exceptional job this season.”

    Added Beemer: “In previous years, we’ve seen seven or more retailers do well. If you’re losing 50 percent of your customers, you’re in grave trouble and your long-term future is doubtful. Two-thirds of retailers got failing grades this year and had better seriously review their merchandising and advertising strategies if they want to stay in the game.”

    The ARG/Inmar research consisted of 1,000 telephone interviews conducted Dec. 20-22, 2013 at ARG headquarters in Charleston, S.C., with an error factor of plus or minus 3.8 percent. This survey concluded the most extensive study of Christmas shoppers by any research firm in America: seven national surveys from Nov. 1 through Dec. 22. The firms’ next shopping survey will take place in October 2014 and continue every week through the 2014 shopping season.

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