WSJ.com published an indepth piece on shopping today. Specifically, the story centers around shoppers in the greater Milwaukee area. I was approached several months ago by one of the journalists, Shelly Banjo, and I did what I could to help find families for her to profile. Ultimately, no one I contacted had the time to be a part of her story, but the story turned out very well.
Milwaukee, you see, is a snapshot of the "typical" American city and our metro area "mirrors the characteristics of the U.S. consumer population as a whole," according to Acxiom Corp.
Notes Banjo, "Once we landed on Milwaukee, a city whose blue-collar history is rooted in the Polish and German immigrants that came to the Lake Michigan outpost and ushered in some of America’s largest breweries, tanneries and brickyards, the Journal went about looking for middle class consumers that reflected the cultural makeup of the city. Interviewing more than a dozen people, the Journal zeroed in on four families that best reflected today’s shoppers: item-driven consumers who are short on time and determined to get a deal."
A few takeaways from the piece:
- Every city loves a deal. Not just Milwaukee.
- Many local cheer our "test market" status, yet research shows that Milwaukee is No. 27 on the list.
- Shopping has changed and the web makes it so much easier.
- Local families and couples work hard to buy what they can and want. Oconomowoc's Elisabeth Hoffman and Josh Loeser, Emily and Jeff Jasinowski and other locals are featured in the story.
- Walmart is a grocery store. The story notes that 56 percent of the company's annual sales are now grocery related.
- Speaking of big boxes, which ones you shop at often depends on your income.
- I need to buy a cow next year to save on meat.
Again, read this very interesting and well-done piece and listen to the podcast here.Read more...