If you want to know more about Nordstrom, Macy’s and Kohl’s shoppers, such as what they have in common and what sets them apart, look no further than coffee. Does a shopper buy her cup of Joe at Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? A fondness for the former’s latte macchiato points to a Nordstrom consumer, while coffee in a styrofoam cup with an orange and pink logo likely belongs to a Kohl’s shopper, according to Viant’s white paper, “Anatomy of a Department Store Shopper.”
That proclivity for Starbucks and other predilections shed light on the behaviors of the three department store consumer group. Viant’s analysis focused on roughly three million customers actively spending at Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, and Kohl’s during the first half of 2016.
Overall, shoppers across each store are concentrated in the 18- to 44-year-old age range, but Nordstrom’s are the youngest, 18 to 34. Macy’s 25 to 44, and Kohl’s, 35 to 44.
Nordstrom shoppers have the highest incomes, with 41 percent of earning more than $100,000 a year compared to 35 percent of Macy’s base and 29 of Kohl’s. More people shopped at Kohl’s — 51 percent — in the past year, compared to 43 percent at Macy’s and 17 percent at Nordstrom.
While Nordstrom’s universe of shoppers is much smaller and more specialized than those of the other two department stores, the Seattle-based retailer’s shoppers spend considerably more, outspending Macy’s customers by 26 percent, and Kohl’s, 45 percent.
The Viant study found that Nordstrom customers are prone to cross-shop. About 90 percent of the survey group also shops at Macy’s. In fact, Nordstrom customers that also shop at Macy’s, spend more than dedicated Macy’s consumers.
Ethnic diversity across the three department stores was greatest at Macy’s, with 2.5 times as many shoppers likely to be African-American than Kohl’s, and twice as likely as Nordstrom customers. Hispanics spend six hours per month more shopping online than non-Hispanics, are almost three times more likely to order a product after seeing a video or infomerical and reported a higher instance of discussing a brand on social media.
Overall, shoppers are more likely to purchase in-store rather than online, Viant said. Those in the 25-to-44 age range do the most online shopping. About 34 percent of Nordstrom consumers are likely to shop online, compared with Macy’s, 27 percent, and Kohl’s, 16 percent.
With so many Nordstrom consumer using the web, it’s no surprise that 24 percent buy their groceries online compared to 12 percent, Macy’s and 14 percent, Kohl’s. Nordstrom shoppers are three times more likely than Kohl’s shoppers and 35 percent more likely than Macy’s customers, to frequent Whole Foods. Kohl’s base is 72 percent more likely to go to Kroger than Nordstrom’s, and 50 percent more likely than Macy’s.
As with coffee, the three consumer groups lined up accordingly in terms of beer preferences. Nordstrom’s shoppers picked micro-brews, such as Sam Adams, Macy’s, imported beers like Heineken, and Kohl’s, Bud Lite and other American lagers. Similarly, customers of Nordstrom typically drive full size SUVs such as BMWs, Macy’s, compact cars from Toyota, and Kohl’s, full size trucks like Chevrolet.
When it comes to TV viewing habits, things get interesting. Nordstrom shoppers watch the most, 6.4 hours a day. The Seattle-based retailer’s consumers tune into PBS at a high rate, while also watching Fox News Channel. Kohl’s shoppers watch Country Music Television and History Channel, while Macy’s shoppers often watch HBO and VH1.