While most of America is shopping less these days, a new study finds that there’s no sign of a slowdown among mall-loving teens. It finds they’re still spending plenty of time sashaying through their favorite stores.
Arbitron conducted the study for Eye, a mall media operator, intercepting teens between the ages of 14 and 17 in five malls around the U.S. Although the study was fielded in mid-November, a period when malls and retailers were reporting widespread downturns in both traffic and spending, these teens said they are still coming to the mall an average of five times a month, spending about two hours each trip, and visiting an average of five stores.
Before heading to the grocery store, Miranda Wilcox jumps online, where she scours for coupons on half a dozen Web sites bookmarked on her computer.
Ms. Wilcox, a 32-year-old mother of two from Greenville, N.C., prints out some of the coupons. Others she uploads directly onto her supermarket rewards card. Recently, Ms. Wilcox shaved nearly $50 off a $120 shopping bill with the help of coupons she found on the Internet.
Package-goods brands face their greatest crisis and strongest threat from private label since at least the early 1990s. And that’s the good news.
The bad news is that this time could be a lot worse — more like the U.K. or Canada in the 1970s than the U.S. in the 1990s, according to some industry watchers. They predict a structural slowdown in consumer spending that could last four to 10 years, which, combined with increasingly marketing-savvy and aggressive retailers, could conspire to push private-label shares to a dizzying high — as much as six times the roughly one-point gain already seen since the recession began in December 2007.
Advertisers are getting access to a new interactive out-of-home ad platform that is close to the point of sale. That’s thanks to Tomra, which operates a network of recycling machines at supermarkets and other retail locations across the U.S.
The company is introducing poster spaces, video messages and product-specific coupons to its “reverse vending machines,” which sort and accept recyclable beverage containers. In addition to supermarkets, it operates RVMs at sports stadiums, amusement parks and university campuses.
Consumers might have been stingy in the fourth quarter, but they came out of the period happier about the way they were treated by retailers, the American Consumer Satisfaction Index demonstrated, with Wal-Mart and Dollar General being exceptions.
Considered in two categories, department/discount store and supermarket, Wal-Mart gained a point in the ACSI rating system to 70 as a general merchandise retailer, but it lost two points to 69 as a food retailer. Wal-Mart’s ACSI supermarket rating slipped in the quarter even though its sales gained. Claes Fornell, director of the National Quality Research Center, which is an ACSI sponsor, noted that Wal-Mart’s supercenter operations are so price oriented that service isn’t as big a deal to its customers as it is to those of some other retailers.
Makers of household goods and food are paying more attention to the “paycheck cycle” as cash-strapped consumers are showing a tendency to make their largest purchases when their salaries first come in and to cut back as that money runs out.
With more consumers living from paycheck to paycheck, some companies have looked at ways to time their promotions around periods when consumers’ wallets are likely to be well cushioned.
The recession has hit department stores particularly hard—and their future, too, may not be too bright, as consumers may not return to their department-store shopping habits even when the economy returns to its pre-recession glory, writes the Dallas Morning News.
Certainly not all customers who will have grown accustomed to discounts and living frugally will go back shopping at department stores. More than half—55%—of consumers polled by WSL Strategic Retail say they are shopping less at malls.
Measurement of planogram compliance is a decidedly low‐tech matter. More than one third of respondents to the latest ISI Network 30‐Sec Poll (35%) indicated that they have no process in place whatsoever to track planogram compliance. Those that answered “yes” rely heavily on spot checks (49%) and store manager sign‐offs (46%).
Retailer reliance on third parties is also commonplace. “Use of 3rd party reline team to implement required changes,” said one retailer respondent. “A merchandising team does them.” said another.
What’s the next big (or small) concept that will rock retailing? That was among the questions asked in the newly released RetailWire/Dechert-Hampe report, Retail Formats in Transition. Based on the study results, and your own prediction of where store formats are headed, which retail operators have the best handle on where the market is going and what consumers will be looking for in the next few years?