Only Three Businesses Can Say At Least 84 Percent of U.S. Consumers Spent With Them in 2016

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NPD’s new index reveals just how integrated stores and restaurants are in the lives of U.S. consumers

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“The battle for every consumer dollar is heating up, and we must shift from studying what consumers purchase to how they spend their money,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc.

A new index from The NPD Group’s Checkout Tracking SM shows that some of the biggest names in retailing and foodservice have become fully woven into American life – reaching an extraordinary percentage of buyers at least once a year. Walmart, McDonald’s, and Target top the list with better than five out of six U.S. consumers shopping in 2016.

The Checkout Penetration Index, based on millions of receipts from actual consumers across all retailers and restaurants, both online and in brick and mortar, takes a new approach to understanding market penetration and performance. The index is based on one simple question: “What percentage of all U. S. consumers bought at each store or restaurant?”

The biggest gainer among restaurants in the Top 25 was Chick-fil-A, which saw a 5 percentage point increase in penetration in 2016. The biggest gainer among retailers was Dollar Tree, which saw a 3 percentage point increase. Both Chick-fil-A and Dollar Tree have been expanding operations aggressively.

“The battle for every consumer dollar is heating up, and we must shift from studying what consumers purchase to how they spend their money,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. “Consumers spending on experiences is overlapping with their purchases of products, making every item and visit so important to competing in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.”

Checkout TrackingSM provides detailed information on consumer buying behavior, based on receipts for both online and brick-and-mortar retail purchases from the same consumers over time. Checkout Tracking delivers precise category, brand, and item-level purchase detail linked to buyers and their demographics, useful for analyzing competitive market baskets and identifying purchase patterns. Information is collected from more than 50,000 consumers from NPD’s receipt-harvesting mobile phone app and the scanning of more than 4 million in-boxes for e-receipts through Slice Intelligence.

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Janine Marshall
The NPD Group
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