business news in context, analysis with attitude

The new edition of Xtreme Retail 23 reflects on a recent study by Shop Smart magazine, published by Consumer Reports, suggesting that almost nine out of ten American women shoppers are concerned with getting the best price on the products they buy, with 72 percent of the women polled saying that price is key when purchasing clothing/groceries. About 57 percent of poll respondents said that the best values are found at discount department stores such as Wal-Mart and Target. And only 17 percent of those polled said that the best discounts can be found via the Internet.

“The problem for mainstream supermarket retailers, of course, is that very little of this information is good news,” XR23 writes. “If they don't have prices like Wal-Mart, fast checkout lanes and stress-reducing personnel ... well, the odds are pretty good that more shoppers than not are going to hate the shopping experience or at the very least find it frustrating.”

At the same time, the Shop Smart survey reports that 45 percent of women polled said that they rely mostly on friends and family as trusted sources for shopping advice, with the least trusted sources being sales people (39 percent) and advertising (31 percent.)

Advertising’s lack of influence isn’t a point on which everyone agrees, of course…

Another XR23 story looks at a new Stanford Graduate School of Business study suggesting that newspaper circulars influence 10 percent of all major shopping trips in a tangible way. "If I'm a decision maker at a chain, I can say someone has now analyzed data and concluded that I need to take circulars even more seriously and have more ads in the key categories," V. "Seenu" Srinivasan, Stanford’s Adams Distinguished Professor of Management, tells XR23. "I'd blend my knowledge of two areas - the categories in which customers most want price promotions so they'll come to my store for larger trips, and the manufacturers who'll offer money to promote their brands in those categories."

Also this month, XR23 looks at the YouTube phenomenon. “Founded in early 2005 as a free online hub for sharing and watching original videos, YouTube has quickly risen from its home-grown roots to a full blown entertainment destination with millions of viewers. From current events to the bizarre and unique, the site has something for everyone, allowing users to express themselves creatively and politically within a community of intelligent consumers.” YouTube also is proving to be a unique place where retailers large and small can communicate brand messages to consumers…and do so with some fairly intriguing results.

For more on these and other XR23 stories, go to:

Xtreme Retail23, from Phil Lempert, reports on the latest issues, marketing analysis and trends focused on innovations in 23 different retailing venues.

(Full disclosure: MNB Content Guy Kevin Coupe is a regular contributor to XR23.)
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