Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Women plan to spend less at department stores, mass merchants

October 7, 2008

shop.jpgLast month, in a poll conducted by SheSpeaks, a women’s insights marketing firm, almost 50 percent of respondents said they would spend less this holiday. That was up from nearly 30 percent who answered the same way last year.

In a new poll, SheSpeaks asks where shoppers intend to spend fewer dollars. Here are the results from the updated poll:

If you are planning to curb your spending, where will you be spending less money? 
1 – Department Store (37.64%) 
2 – Mass Merchandiser (Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target)   (23.62%) 
3 – Big Box Retailer (Home Depot, Staples, Toys R Us, etc.) (16.85%) 
4 – Grocery Store  (11.50%) 
5 – Club Store (Costco, Sam’s, etc.)  (3.94%) 
6 – Discount Store (TJ Maxx, Filene’s, etc.) (4.41%) 
7 – Drug Store  (2.05%) 

Aliza Freud, founder of SheSpeaks, said she was surprised by the high percent of respondents who said they would cut their spending at mass merchants like Wal-Mart and Target. Wal-Mart’s results have been outpacing rivals in recent months as consumers seek out its low prices.

But Freud said: “People are feeling like they’re not getting the deals that they really expected to get there.” She said one reason for this feeling may be the lack of coupons that these retailers distribute. Instead of relying on a retailers’ promise that they offer low prices, Freud said respondents indicated that they prefer shopping with coupons these days to feel as if they are getting the lowest prices possible.

“We think coupons are a huge opportunity right now for retailers,” Freud said.

(Photo: Reuters)


RE: “Standardized National Grocery Store Cost Survey”

Grocery stores operate on the thinnest of profit margins,
typically in the 1 – 3% range. Still, there can be upwards of a 20% price difference in a bag of groceries between competing stores in the same geographic area!

Thus, especially in today’s economy, the smart shopper needs to be aware of where the “best” place to shop may be.

We conduct a “Standardized National Grocery Store Cost Survey” based on commonly used breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. National and “store” brands along with daily store “specials” are included in the survey.

e.g. A breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, english muffin, jam, orange juice and coffee.

Any regional area where three or more stores compete can
participate in this survey process.


Full menu details, the survey process description/format along with a “live” example will be sent back to you.


Doug Stowell

Principal – Consultant

Market Resource Associates
Ashburn, VA (DC area)

Posted by Doug Stowell | Report as abusive

This is great information and people ought to be careful with where and how they shop. Still, there are a number of wonderful discount clothing stores that provide considerable benefits to returning customers which make it easy to acquire goods without strain.


hello everyone,
I know that savings is the name of the game right now in this economy. Im here to introduce you all to an exciting new website that im a member of. The site is called For being a member on this site you get access to all kinds of ways to save. There are lots ways to save while shopping, dining, groceries, travel, hotels, dentists, eye doctors!!! you get access to so much. The program really pays for itself in no time flat!! i recomend anyone check it out as there is something there for everyone…..


Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see