Why Do Millionaires Prefer to Shop at Walmart in Canada?
Over the years, Walmart has attempted to attract a more upscale audience in the U.S. When its efforts have fallen short, Walmart has been accused of losing sight of its core customer base.
The same issue does not appear to have dogged Walmart in Canada, according to new research by Ipsos Reid, which found that 72 percent of Canadian households with $1 million or more in investable assets (not including their home or personal possessions) have shopped in the retailer’s stores over the past year. That’s a higher percentage than have shopped at The Bay (70 percent) and Sears Canada (54 percent) during the same period.
So why does Walmart, which claims to get at least one visit a month from 60 percent of American households, attract such affluent shoppers in Canada while apparently failing to do so in its home country? Is the answer more about how Walmart is different in the two countries or about the differences in how affluent Americans and Canadians shop?
The primary factors behind where Canadian millionaires shop, according to Ipsos Reid, are:
- High quality products (94 percent);
- Price/budget (88 percent);
- Good range of different brands (87 percent);
- Proactive customer service (65 percent);
- Unique product selection (59 percent);
- Latest trends/hottest labels (21 percent) and designer labels (18 percent).
Respondents named "good value for the price" most often as the leading why behind their buys. Across one category after another — clothing, computers, cosmetics, wine, etc. — value was given as the top reason for choosing a particular brand.
In an e-mail to RetailWire, an Ipsos spokesperson said the company has not conducted research similar to the Canadian study in the U.S.
- Most Millionaires Shop at Walmart – Ipsos Reid
- The Real Walmart – Walmart Stores
- Walmart and Target: A tale of two discount chains – The Associated Press/CBS News
What is it about Walmart, the Canadian retail market and/or affluent consumers in that country that attracts millionaire households? Is there anything Walmart is doing in Canada to attract more affluent consumers that it could import to the U.S.?