Sunday, March 4, 2007

Nailed by Walmart

Every now and then it's humbling to learn you are part of a demographic: one's own story, style, personality, and values really might just boil down to a market segment.
I have been nailed by Walmart, 100% accurately, as among the “price-sensitive affluents” (wealthier shoppers who love deals). I do not shop at Walmart, as it happens - the labor movement's educational effort about Walmart's sleazy employment practices really horrified me. But the fact remains: I am a price-sensitive affluent. Using affluent as a noun, rather than adjective, is highly objectionable, but I am definitely a wealthier shopper who loves deals. I prefer shopping in a modest environment where I find something nice to a fancy store. I can afford the fancy store, but I am put off by the snooty clerks and the pretentious atmosphere, and know that I am being sized up by the salespeople and found guilty of being LLBean. Walmart is probably taking a page from Costco:

Costco shoppers run the demographic gamut, from business customers to affluent treasure hunters -- after all, you may find its big diamonds worth your while, or the discounted designer clothing or high-end wine that could disappear before your next visit. It may be a warehouse with concrete floors and fluorescent lights, but its bargains and its astonishing variety have universal appeal.
My sister and I will take a HomeGoods any day. Much better sport. It's no big challenge to find something nice at a store that ONLY stocks nice things, after all!
My true favorite shopping venue? A flea market!

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