Consumers are shifting their shopping habits from wandering the malls to shopping at local power strips where they can get a wider variety of goods in the shortest amount of time. During the past few years, fundamental changes have occurred in the way Americans are shopping, how often they do so, and why they favor particular brands, stores, and products. People are better educated and have greater access to information, and thus have become more demanding of the goods and services they purchase. Consumers’ newfound craving for goods that afford excellent value and design, is often overcoming their taste for pricey status symbols. An increasing willingness to cross-shop retail channels is bringing a new elasticity to people’s budgets. They are saving money at discount stores on some items, while spending more for others bought elsewhere. There has been a decline in shopping as a leisure time activity. Americans made an average of 36 shopping trips for apparel in 2001, down 8% from 39 shopping trips in 2000, and down 16% from 43 trips in 1999.
Preference of shopping places differs for different types of productlines. For example, more women’s apparel than men’s is purchased in specialty and department stores. Men’s apparel is more prevalent in discount stores and general merchandise chains. In the children’s segment, a considerably higher portion of apparel is purchased in discount stores. Because children quickly outgrow their clothing, parents are less inclined to spend a lot of money on a single item and therefore more inclined to shop at discount stores.
Source: Apparel Retail / Industry report/2003