retail news in context, analysis with attitude

  • Market research firm NOP World has published a new study saying that more than a third of Hispanic Americans – 36 percent, to be precise – say that their favorite store is Wal-Mart.

    JC Penney, Sears and Target tied for second place – with a whopping four percent each.

    Asked to rate the various factors that affect their decisions where to shop, 77 percent of Hispanic Americans said price, 72 percent said convenient location, and 71 percent said “a wide range of merchandise.” Interestingly, just 54 percent said it was important to have employees who speak Spanish, 52 percent said “products relevant to Hispanic consumers,” 47 percent said Spanish signage, 43 percent said product packaging and labels in Spanish, and 34 percent said it was important that the owner be a member of the local community.

  • There are published reports in the UK that Wal-Mart’s Asda Group there is interested in launching a bid to buy Somerfield, which already is the object of acquisition interest from several consortia.

    The reports suggest that Asda could team up with one of the other interested parties, or could make a move on its own.

    Wal-Mart is not commenting on the speculation.

  • Wal-Mart’s Sam's Club division has released a report saying that only 45 percent of small business owners surveyed said they were confident or very confident about the economy being strong in the next six months, a number that was down about seven points from a year earlier.

    Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed said they thought layoffs would remain consistent over the next six months, while about a quarter of respondents said they believed there would be a higher rate of layoffs. The small business owners ranked their most important expenses as, in order, health insurance, broadband Internet access, phone service, fuel, and advertising.

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