When it comes to consumer relevance, Amazon, Target, and Walmart know how America wants to shop, according to a new ranking from Brodeur Partners.
The study ranks 21 retailers on practicality, values, sensory appeal and social appeal — asking 2,000 shoppers which store brands they found most and least personally relevant. Amazon dominated in practicality, social relevance and value. And that practicality score, Brodeur says, is extra impressive — not just for what it says about online shopping becoming mainstream, but also because people find a virtual superstore more practical than their neighborhood supermarket.
Target ranks second overall and first in sensory appeal. “That shoppers scored Target higher than Walmart was remarkable given the fact that Target’s total sales are a fraction of Walmart’s, with only approximately one-fourth the number of total stores,” the report says. “We think this disparity speaks to the power of the senses to create a strong bond with a customer.”
Walmart came in a distant third. “While Walmart scored well in all four areas, the store’s high ranking was very highly dependent on its practical relevance to shoppers,” the Boston-based communications company says. “Our research has found that people view practical relevance as the most important attribute for a retailer to have. The bad news for Walmart is that our study also found that the importance of ‘practical relevance’ drops sharply among younger Gen Y shoppers.”
Best Buy came in fourth, followed by Costco, Kohl’s, JCPenney, Macy’s and Walgreens.
And while Apple came in at a relatively lowly No. 10, Brodeur sees it as a high achiever in social appeal. “That Apple made the top ten after only being in the retail business for a decade and largely selling its own products speaks volumes about the incredibly dynamic nature of retail and the power of the socially relevant brand.”
Those in the bottom half include Sears (No. 14), which in terms of practicality, scored lower than Home Depot, Lowe’s, JCPenney, Kohl’s, and even T.J. Maxx.
Traditional grocery chains are also struggling by this measure, with neither Kroger or Safeway making the top 10.