Shopping at Walmart has become a common household experience on a global scale. With the ability to leverage lower prices for everyday items, it is becoming a budgetary need for people from all backgrounds and income levels to use this retail giant to meet their needs.
More than 50% of the annual business that Walmart receives comes from households that make $50,000 or less per year.
Walmart Shopper Facts
Although many people will criticize Walmart and encourage people not to shop there, the stark reality is that almost everyone shops at this retailer at least once per month. It isn’t just clothing or electronics that is drawing people of all income levels to the store either. Walmart is making a dramatic impact on the grocery business as well.
- For those shoppers who do in-store shopping at Walmart, only 19% of them will shop at the retail giant’s online store as well. 74% of these shoppers regularly use Amazon for their online needs.
- Only 18% of Amazon’s customers will also shop at Walmart for online needs.
- A majority of Walmart shoppers live in markets that contain fewer than 500k people.
The ecommerce sector is what will make or break businesses today that are trying to operate on a large scale. It’s bad news that Walmart’s own shoppers prefer using Amazon’s services over Walmart’s. Part of this reason is likely the time it takes to receive a needed or wanted product. Many of Amazon’s items can be received in two business days, especially with an Amazon Prime subscription. For the Walmart online shopper, it could be up to 3 weeks to receive a product and there may be shipping charges involved – if not a trip to the local store anyway. With billions of dollars at stake, Walmart might be losing a battle it shouldn’t have chosen to fight.
Who Really Shops At Walmart?
- A greater percentage of households that make $100k-$150k annually shop at Walmart than households that earn less than $15k per year.
- Households that make between $35k-$50k make up the greatest percentage of Walmart’s customers, accounting for over 20% of total shoppers.
- The income demographic with the largest increase in households shopping at Walmart are those that make $25k or less, rising by 20% annually.
- Walmart has seen a 39% jump in people who have shopped at their store at least once in the past week in the United States. 80% of American shoppers visit Walmart at least once annually to shop for items.
- 1 out of every 5 Walmart shoppers uses food stamps in order to meet their basic needs in some way.
- Top line income growth for Walmart over the past 5 years has grown by over 17%, but that growth was less than 1% in 2013.
- With a presence in 27 countries around the world, there are more than 11,000 stores under the Walmart name and thousands more that operate under different banners.
What is troublesome for Walmart is that even though it is outperforming its other big box competitors like Target, Kmart, and even Kohls, it is still struggling to find growth. Because of this, the chain is working on changing its dynamics to focus on higher revenue customers to offset cuts in food stamp programs, but it isn’t working. More people in the high spending demographics are leaving the store to search for other alternatives. Part of this might be because of stale brands, but a large part of it is the shopping experience that people have. It is difficult to enjoy shopping in a store where aisles are so small that you can’t fit two shopping carts down them side-by-side!
Here Are Some Stunning Facts
- About $36 million is spent at Walmart stores every hour of every day on average.
- Walmart makes nearly $35,000 in profit every minute of every day.
- 90% of American households live within a 15 minute drive of a Walmart store.
- 100 million people shop at Walmart stores every week.
- 4 out of every 5 Walmart suppliers are located in China.
- 22% of Walmart’s sales come from electronics and technology. The only other category of products that come close are personal care products, accounting for 14.5% of total sales.
- Despite making up more than half of the total grocery industry in the US, food and bevral products account for just 5% of the store’s total sales.
What these statistics show is that every demographic of Walmart shopper is using this retail giant for discretionary spending more than anything. They’re trying to save money on food items so that they can purchase electronics in order to stay connected to others or have home entertainment options. Even their sales of video games is higher than their sale of food products! As much as people love to bash Walmart, these statistics prove that there must be a level of personal responsibility taken as well. If the average shopper is spending nearly $1 out of every $5 on an electronic item and another third of that income goes to rent or mortgage payments, over 50% of that person’s income is already gone.
How Big Is Walmart?
- With over 2 million employees, Walmart employs more people than some countries have residents. That number is 7 times the population of Iceland.
- With over $400 billion annual revenues, Walmart would be the 23rd largest economy in the world if it were a country.
- Exports to Walmart from China accounted for more than 10% of the annual trade deficit the US has with that country over a 5 year period beginning in 2001.
- This retail giant is the largest employer in 50% of the states that make up the US and it is the nation’s largest employer.
- The total amount of planetary space that Walmart takes up with their store locations is over 40 square miles.
- If one took just the parking lots that accompany Walmart stores, it would be enough to cover the entire city of Tampa Bay, FL.
- On the average year, Walmart is sued an average of once every 2 hours.
- With their efforts on reducing prices, it is estimated that the average household can save over $900 per year just by transitioning to using Walmart as their primary shopping experience.
Being big has its benefits, but it also carries with it some consequences as well. Walmart can do a lot of good with the annual revenues that it pulls in, as they’ve donated more than $1 billion in the last year alone. When compared to the amount of revenues that pulls in, however, that is less than 1% of their annual take. It is a large business that seeks profitability as one of its primary missions and that should never be forgotten. Many are employed by Walmart and that’s not a bad thing, but many wages aren’t competitive in their communities. That also drives down the economic impact a community has and it could be argued that Walmart is one of the reasons behind the growing US wealth gap. Despite all this, however, people will continue to shop here because they can’t afford to shop elsewhere.
What Causes People To Stop Spending At Walmart?
- A $4 million reduction of SNAP benefits from the US government results in an up to 10% decrease in sales in a year-by-year comparison in some Walmart stores.
- People purchase bananas more often at Walmart than any other item, so delays or price increases in this food item translate directly into lower sales.
- Nearly 1.6 million employees, both past and present, have sued Walmart over sexual discrimination.
- The Walton family, who founded Walmart in 1962, still owns over 50% of the company and has a net worth that is estimated to be $152 billion. This makes them the richest family in the world, yet they have donated less than 2% of their income to charitable or philanthropic causes.
- Walmart started their own electrical utility in Texas so that it could supply their stores with cheaper power, saving over $15 trillion in some estimates over time – though no electricity is sold to Texas homes or businesses from this utility.
- The highest wages that are offered at Walmart for executives is $170k, but the average store manager makes less than $50k. Almost all employees at Walmart are hourly associates that work rotating shifts and schedules.
More than 50% of Walmart’s employees are women. Because Walmart’s wages aren’t necessarily competitive with other industries in the average community, this means the company is at partially responsible for the gender wage gap that is occurring around the world. It also means that the company almost forces people to shop at their stores because it is the only place where employees can afford to shop. There is almost a selfish attitude that surrounds the company and it makes people feel dirty because they feel like they need to shop there – and they do if they can save $1,000 on basic needs every year. Despite this fact, the reputation of this retail giant is necessarily good and there’s not a lot of efforts seemingly in place to change things around for the better.
Is Walmart Bad for a Community?
- For every additional Walmart Supercenter that is built, the obesity rate per 100,000 people in that community rises by 2.4%.
- The average BMI percentage increase per community rises by 0.25% per additional Walmart Supercenter that is built.
- The gross profit margin worldwide for Walmart is 24.3%, which is 16% lower than the average small business requires to be profitable.
- Walmart owns 55% of the US grocery business.
- The average amount of sales per store in the US is over $66 million.
- Outside of the United States, Walmart has their greatest presence in Mexico with over 2,000 stores in place.
Even though this retail giant is approaching $500 billion in total revenues, their gross operating profit is less than $30 billion annually. With that being said, however, that leaves plenty of room for employee raises that could create competitive living wages for them. If everyone at Walmart received a $5,000 raise, Walmart would still be left with over $10 billion in annual operating income. Would this limit growth? Or would it spur economic growth in every community? With over $66 million in sales not going to small businesses, the answer seems pretty clear… but we’ll never really know for certain.
Some Final Facts To Consider
- For every two jobs that Walmart can create in a community, it is responsible for eliminating 3 jobs in return.
- The average salary for a Walmart employee is $8.81 per hour.
- Only 25% of Walmart’s employees make more than $25k per year.
- If every shopper would spend just $12 extra on products annually, every employee would be able to earn a living wage.
When considering Walmart shopping demographics, it is hard to ignore the fact that the largest demographic seems to be the employees themselves not by choice, but by force. Although there are certainly many opportunities that Walmart can provide and many people enjoy their job at this retail giant as households can save money, the fact remains that economies are becoming stagnant and spending is down because incomes are comparatively less today for middle class US households then 30 years ago. All it would take is a few simple changes for all of Walmart’s shopping demographics to enjoy a better life.