What Retailer Are You?

Apr 30 2014, 10:40pm CDT | by

If this were BuzzFeed, this story would be a quiz, one of those oddly addictive quizzes that gets shared on social media. The ones that identify what breed of dog you would be, which character on “Friends” or even which kind of tuber you are.

After answering a series of questions, readers would be rewarded with a definitive conclusion —  You are Target! — followed by a personality description that likens you to a store and reads like a horoscope.

But this is Forbes, not BuzzFeed and the ability to build a quiz on the Forbes platform escapes me. However, the urge to use the format to illustrate a point is too compelling to pass up.

The most important criteria for you in choosing a store is:
A. Low prices
B. Wide selection
C. One-stop shopping
D. Exclusive product
E. Natural or organic product selection/>/>/>/>/>

With the money left after you’ve paid all the bills and met the budget you would:
A. If only I had enough to pay the bills
B. Buy something for the kids
C. Left over money? What’s that?
D. Budget? You mean people have limits?
E. I’m a free spirit and can’t be contained by monetary rules/>/>/>/>/>

You’re in the mood to treat yourself, you:
A. Buy an envelope of seeds for $1. That garden will keep the family in produce this summer
B. Nab a flirty designer dress for less
C. A new gas grill.
D. The Balenciaga city satchel in coral, it’s the color this season.
E. Splurge on that hand-crafted lavender ice cream everyone’s talking about/>/>/>/>/>

If you answered mostly A’s, you’re a Dollar General shopper. Thrifty, not because you want to, but because you have to. Your monthly income is entirely spoken for and there’s barely enough to cover food, clothing, transportation and essentials.

If you answered mostly B’s, you identify with Target. It’s clean, close by and has something for everyone, including a little something fashionably extra for yourself.

Mostly C’s, and you’re a Walmart shopper. You can’t beat the low prices, convenient location and one-stop shopping. Odds are good you’ve got a family to take care and Walmart has you covered in just about every product category.

Those lucky D’s shop at Neiman Marcus. Money is no object, or at the very least there’s enough for splurges. You appreciate a high level of customer service and exclusive designer products.

And finally, the E’s are Whole Foods shoppers. Young, college-educated and interested in the environment and healthy eating. You have enough money to pay a premium on products but aren’t necessarily into conspicuous consumption.

Why go to all this trouble? Because I cover retail and write a lot about Walmart. And when you write about Walmart, people always want to tell you how bad the company is. Ok, I tell them, companies do a lot of things that can be considered bad, but it’s hardly something Walmart has an exclusive on.

That’s when things start to get weird. People don’t want to hear how the retailer they shop at, the one they form an affinity for and feel connected to, does bad things. We tend to identify with the stores we frequent, so much so, that if this had been a BuzzFeed quiz, millions of people would have taken it and posted the results to Facebook with comments like “it’s SO true!”

People identify with the stores they shop at. Whether they answered all A’s or E’s, we are where we shop.


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