Nearly Two-Thirds of Consumers Shop in Walmart Stores Each Month, PYMNTS Study Shows


Walmart’s hold on the United States population may be even greater than you imagined as 64% of consumers report having made an in-store purchase from Walmart in the last month, according to data from PYMNTS’ new study “The Benefits of Membership: Mass Retailers and Subscription Services.”

The study, which drew from a census-based survey of more than 2,100 U.S. consumers in late January and early February, also found that 28% had made a purchase from the mega-retailer’s website. Additionally, many of these consumers likely made multiple purchases from the retail giant in this period, since the bread and butter of Walmart’s business is bread and butter, or rather grocery as a whole, which typically drives visits on a weekly basis rather than monthly.

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In late 2019, the company reported that grocery accounted for 56% of all sales, a figure that was repeated in a Reuters report in February, suggesting that that share has held relatively constant. Moreover, in recent years, the company has touted growth in its food and beverage offerings.

Given Walmart’s scale, it is better able than any of its competitors to leverage pricing to drive sales. Now, as grocery inflations soars to the highest it has been since Hall & Oates’ “Kiss on my List” topped U.S. radio charts, Walmart has the opportunity to turn what is widely considered a headwind in the industry into a tailwind.

“We talk about price gaps, our price leadership position, for a reason because prices are relative, and it’s more fluid in an inflationary environment like this,” John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., told analysts on an earnings call in February. “We think about things like opening price points and protecting them for a lower income family, some of the things that they need from a staples point of view, and … we use rollbacks to communicate … the emotion or perception we want customers to have about us being there for them and earning their trust.”

See more: Walmart Parlays Consumer Price Concerns Into Grocery Share Gains

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) released last month showed that in February, prices for groceries increased 8.6% year over year. This increase marked the greatest 12-month rise since April 1981.

Read more: Inflation Soars 7.9% to Another 40-Year High

Price is the main factor influencing consumers’ choice of grocer, according to data from PYMNTS’ study “Decoding Customer Affinity: The Customer Loyalty to Merchants Survey 2022,” created in collaboration with Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. The study, which drew from a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers, found that 37% of consumers rank price above all other considerations when selecting a grocer to purchase from, a greater share than said the same of any other concern.

Reports have shown that, as inflation has risen, consumers have been making smaller purchases, opting for generic rather than brand-name goods, and keeping an eye out for discounts.

See more: Shoppers Turn Away From Name Brands as Inflation Takes a Bite out of Grocery Budgets