The world’s largest retailer did well despite its disappointing performance on Black Friday. According to Retail Forward, a Columbus, Ohio-based market research firm, 60 percent of all shoppers looking for gifts visited Wal-Mart and one-fifth of those consumers made purchases. While Wal-Mart cut back on discounts at the start of the holiday season, it quickly recognized its mistake and surprised observers with its agility. “Wal-Mart is a quick learner,” said Steve Spiwak, economist at Retail Forward, referring to the chain’s decision to crank up promotions in December. “Clearly Wal-Mart was able to make a good comeback.”

  1. SHOPPERS WHO PURCHASED APPAREL AT WAL-MART*
    All: 46 percent; downmarket: 52 percent; middle market: 50 percent; upmarket: 38 percent

    Wal-Mart’s downmarket customers are clearly more comfortable with giving gifts of apparel from the store than upmarket customers, which Retail Forward describes as having household incomes greater than $75,000. Middle market shoppers, according to Retail Forward, have household incomes between $22,500 and $75,000, and downmarket shoppers are described as those with household incomes of less than $22,500.


  2. SHOPPERS WHO PURCHASED TOYS AT WAL-MART*
    All: 46 percent; downmarket: 42 percent; middle market: 45 percent; upmarket: 54 percent

    Wal-Mart cut back on discounts in November and consumers punished the chain. When the company got promotional in December, shoppers responded, especially the upmarket crowd. Wal-Mart’s aggressive pricing has taken a toll on toy retailers such as F.A.O. Schwartz and K.B. Toys, which were pushed into bankruptcy.


  3. SHOPPERS WHO PURCHASED DVDS/CDS AT WAL-MART
    All: 38 percent; downmarket: 38 percent; middle market: 38 percent; upmarket: 42 percent

    Upmarket shoppers opted for DVDs, CDs and toys at Wal-Mart once the chain’s low pricing in relation to other stores became evident and gave them a compelling reason to buy.


  4. SHOPPERS WHO PURCHASED OTHER PRODUCTS AT WAL-MART
    All: 27 percent; downmarket: 30 percent; middle market: 25 percent; upmarket: 26 percent

    Wal-Mart did well with its core downmarket and middle market shoppers. Sixty-eight percent of the first group spent $164 or about half their total gift budget of $369 at Wal-Mart during the holiday season. Middle market shoppers spent $183 out of a total $673 at the chain.
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