Walmart: After the recession, will its new customers “stick”?

Chances are good that Walmart can hang onto many cross-shoppers after the recession. Many of these consumers have discovered for the first time that Walmart can save significant amounts of money on food, commodities and consumables. The psychology of even middle- and upper-income shoppers is likely to be more focused on saving money and living with a budget than in the recent past.

However, Walmart needs to focus on the quality of its assortments, its national brand positioning and (most important) its in-store experience once its new customers have more discretionary income in their pockets. Customers who might otherwise be Target loyalists will ditch Walmart unless they continue to address problems with checkout lines and ease of navigation. Target is also likely to rebound with consumers who want to spend discretionary dollars on apparel or housewares with a more upscale brand position.

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