Numerator: Target Popular With Coping Consumers

Numerator has developed a method of dividing consumers and evaluating their shopping activities by their reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic as it has affected the U.S., which, in one case, is better news for Target.

The market research firm came up with six consumer categories based on coronavirus response: Coping: Life on Pause; Coping: Pushing Forward; Unbothered: Full Steam Ahead; Unbothered: Living My Frugal Life; Anxious: Glass Half Full; and Anxious: Scared and Struggling.

To analyze each group, Numerator is contrasting two metrics: Percentage of household penetration and percentage of spend. The difference between these two numbers is the Retailer Resilience Score.

For the Coping: Life on Pause consumer, Target has a high resilience score given that Life on Pause indexes at 103 as a percent of U.S. households shopping Target on average and at 114 as a percent of spend. Taken together, the metrics suggest disproportionate Target spending with a Retailer Resilience Score of 11 for the Life on Holds. Walmarts has a negative 18 score with Life on Hold consumers.

Retailers with the top resilience scores for Life on Hold consumers are: Whole Foods, 40; Trader Joe’s, 29; Publix, 28; Hy-Vee, 26; and Amazon, 26; while those with the lowest scores are Menards, -5; Home Depot, -9; Dollar Tree, -15; Walmart, -18; and Dollar General, -21.

Numerator characterized the six categories as:

  • Coping: Life on Pause. Shoppers who place importance on their overall health, staying away from others and delaying return to pre-COVID normalcy. The segment has a high proportion of online shoppers, is affluent, evincing low concern over financial or job security, but is pessimistic about the economy and country overall.
  • Coping: Pushing Forward. Shoppers with moderate concerns over their health, financial and job security who are trying to find a new normal. They are interacting with others although perhaps not as they have in the past, prefer to shop in-store not online and are not delaying large purchases.
  • Unbothered: Full Steam Ahead. Shoppers who were the least impacted by the pandemic. Their financial situation is stable, and their purchase behavior has changed little. With a relatively positive outlook on the economy, these consumers are the most likely to pay more for their favorite brands and to dine out at restaurants.
  • Unbothered: Living My Frugal Life. Shoppers who were price conscious before the onset of the pandemic, and, although their financial situation is stable, who use various methods to save money when shopping. With a relatively positive outlook on the economy, members of the segment remain strategic in determining where they shop, what brands they buy and overall how they spend their money.
  • Anxious: Glass Half Full. Shoppers impacted by the current environment but starting to find a way out or to hope for a light at the end of the tunnel. Although lower income with concerns about finances, health and job security, consumers in the segment look forward to normalcy’s return and are taking steps to mitigate the impact of the current environment while sticking to their normal behaviors whenever possible.
  • Anxious: Scared & Struggling. Shoppers most impacted by the current environment, they have greatest concerns about finances, health of self and others, and household job security. A low-income segment, it is subject to gloom about the economy, purchase delay and turning to private label.