Just who is the Grand Forks shopper?
Data from a massive study of the Grand Forks area retail scene are in, offering a weirdly specific portrait of your average shopper. Shoppers here really like Pampers brand disposable diapers, being 5 1/2 times as likely to pick that brand as the...
Data from a massive study of the Grand Forks area retail scene are in, offering a weirdly specific portrait of your average shopper.
Shoppers here really like Pampers brand disposable diapers, being 5½ times as likely to pick that brand as the average shopper nationally. They like Infiniti luxury cars 3½ times more than average but think Porsches and Jaguars are lame, being only a third as likely to buy them if they could.
They drink Wild Vines sparkling wine five times more than average and Miller High Life three times more. They're cool to Tanqueray gin, being only half as likely to drink the juniper berry-scented drink.
Chas Stoker, an executive with Buxton Inc., told the audience at the Chamber of Commerce annual dinner Thursday that his Fort Worth, Texas, firm is sort of like a benign Big Brother. The firm, he said, buys all kinds of consumer data, amassing one of the largest databases of its kind in the U.S. to help clients ranging from Wal-Mart to FedEx to cities large and small understand their customer base better.
Last year, the Chamber, with some help from the city of Grand Forks, paid Buxton $50,000 to look at the local retail scene and find out what area retailers should be offering and, if they can't, what new retailers could come in to fill the gap.
The goal is to stop the leakage of shoppers that would otherwise shop here to cities such as Fargo and Minneapolis.
Initially, Chamber members will be working with the data, which Stoker said offered 4,800 line items, but the public will get a look in about six weeks, according to Chamber President Barry Wilfahrt.
"One of the nice things about Grand Forks is you have a captive audience," Stoker said, because competing retail markets are farther away. "And there are people that come here with a purpose," he said, referring to Manitobans who come to Grand Forks.
What else do area shoppers like or dislike?
How about home computers? They're 2½ times more likely to buy one than the national average. They're also 2½ times more likely to buy PowerBar snacks. They're twice as likely to buy Schick Protector razors, the ones with replaceable blades, and twice as likely to watch "My Name is Earl."
They're half as likely to buy 15-pound bags of moist dog food or rowing machines or to watch NBA games.
What could that mean? It'll be up to Buxton to do the analysis and offer some advice.
Buxton doesn't do "studies," which just sit on shelves gathering dust, Stoker boasted, it does "strategies."
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