What U.S. Shoppers Really Want

What U.S. Shoppers Really Want


A new study done by AlixPartners, a corporate turnaround and financial advisory firm based near Detroit, has revealed a shift in consumer desires regarding the five key retail attributes of price, product, service, access and overall shopping experience. The report claims that, “new priorities have emerged for shoppers and many issues that weren’t previously on consumers’ radar are now lighting up the screen.”

According to the report, consumers across the U.S. are expressing frustration at retail with things like restricted access to merchandise, cutbacks in staffing, difficult return policies and confusing pricing. Fred Crawford, managing director at AlixPartners, said that, among the attributes associated with the retail industry, retailers should put their time and resources into excelling in two areas, advising them simply to meet expectations in the other three. “If you’re spreading precious assets, peanut-butter style, evenly across all five attributes, you’re either wasting money or, worse, condemning all five to mediocrity,” Crawford said.

The AlixPartners report highlighted Wal-Mart stores as one retail chain that “really is getting it right,” stating that the retail giant consistently exceeds expectations in price, product and access, allowing shoppers to “chore stack.”

“People might not enjoy shopping at Wal-Mart, but they can get so many things done there–they tolerate it,” Crawford said. “Love them or hate them, Wal-Mart really dominates the consumer psychology.” Target also scored high while Kmart and Macy’s scored surprisingly low in almost all the categories. Smaller retailers that did well included True Value and Academy Sports & Outdoors.