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Millennials 'make do' with Walmart

News, 30 July 2015
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NEW YORK: While Walmart is the top retail destination for millennials, they tend to shop there for groceries and prefer Target in many key categories, new comparative analysis suggests.

According to Ohio-based Prosper Insights, Walmart has two-and-a-half times as many stores as Target, but it lags behind its rival in millennial customer share relative to its store count.

Writing for Forbes Insights, Pam Goodfellow, the principal analyst at Prosper Insights, revealed that the propensity of millennials to shop at Target, compared to the overall average, outpaces their average tendency to shop at Walmart in 24 out of 25 categories.

This is based on the Net Promoter Score [NPS] metric of customer loyalty and satisfaction developed by Satmetrix Systems, Bain & Company and Fred Reichheld, the brand loyalty specialist.

According to this measurement, millennials – defined in the study as young Americans aged 17 to 33 – scored Walmart below the benchmark in 80% of merchandise groupings.

Overall, millennials rated Walmart with a general NPS of 10% while Target received a score three times higher at 36.3%.

"While Walmart is a top shopping destination for the youngest generation, their affinity for the big discounter is lacking," Goodfellow said.

"In other words, they don't necessarily shop [at] Walmart because they want to; this cash-strapped, financially conservative group does so because they have to," she added.

However, in a move aimed directly at millennials before this research was published, Walmart announced last week that it is greatly expanding its range of baby products for young mothers.

Target is currently winning in this category, so Walmart is fighting back by rolling out special sections at 1,000 stores with products aimed specifically at mothers and expectant mothers.

Data sourced from Forbes Insights, Fortune; additional content by Warc staff

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