The Diverse World of Discount Retailers: Why One Size Doesn’t Fit All

The Diverse World of Discount Retailers: Why One Size Doesn’t Fit All

This holiday season discount retailers like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, Kohl's, and Nordstrom Rack are standing tall and gaining traction. Recent data from the Reuters and Nasdaq report indicates that these retailers are on the upswing and poised to outperform expectations in the face of economic challenges such as inflation. While the overall holiday retail sales in the U.S. are projected to increase modestly, discount retailers have been surpassing sales projections in their recent quarterly reports.  

But what's most fascinating is not merely their rise but the distinctness of the consumers they attract. According to Buxton's Alert, a monthly intelligence digest that provides brands with insights into their customer attributes and preferences, the world of discount retail is more nuanced than one might assume. 

The Unique Consumer Profiles of Discount Retail Giants 

Using foot traffic analytics, Alert reflects the monthly trends of each location’s customer, defined as an observed visitor. Looking at the aggregated foot traffic data for each discount retailer at the national level gives key insight into each brand’s overall profile. 

Delving into demographic specifics, TJ Maxx and Ross attract a single, child-free demographic, while JCPenney and Burlington are capturing the attention of single parents. Kohl's, on the other hand, has a distinct appeal to minivan-driving parents with kids aged 10-12. Differences in demographics are not the only differentiator between these brands, however.  

Going beyond demographics reveals the diverse consumer segments that each discount retailer is attracting. For instance, TJ Maxx and Marshall's are appealing to high-end shoppers, showcasing a surprising overlap with Nordstrom Rack. This indicates a shared interest among consumers who seek both quality and affordability in their shopping experiences. While these brands may attract high-end shoppers, their actual customer base in terms of their primary Mosaic segments differs. While TJ Maxx caters to the digitally savvy young singles, Marshall's and Nordstrom Rack attract mature, upscale couples in suburban settings. As for the other discount retail brands, Kohl's and Old Navy focus on active, young, upper-established suburban couples and families. These distinctions are crucial for marketers crafting strategies that resonate with the specific psychographic profiles of their audience. 

But knowing your customers on such a granular level is only one half of the battle. The other challenge marketers must contend with is knowing how to target these customers, and the outreach channels differ as much as each brand’s profile. Digital news and streaming TV appear to be universal channels for TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Kohl's, Old Navy, and Nordstrom Rack, reflecting the increasing reliance on online platforms for shopping information. However, Ross and Burlington consumers exhibit a preference for radio, showcasing the importance of traditional media channels for certain demographics. 

Bottom Line 

In conclusion, the world of discount retail may seem unified by the overarching theme of affordability, but beneath that umbrella lies a rich mosaic of consumer behaviors and preferences. For brands and marketers, recognizing and acting upon these differences could be the key to carving a niche in this competitive space. This means a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy won't cut it anymore. Tailoring approaches to the unique attributes and media preferences of each brand's trending customers is essential for sustained success. 

To gain a deeper understanding of your brand's consumer landscape and receive actionable insights, seize the opportunity to get a free Alert today. Sign up for a demo and unlock the power of targeted marketing in the competitive realm of discount retail. Your brand's success awaits, and Buxton's Alert is the compass guiding you through the diverse and dynamic consumer journey.