Shopping Around? Obama’s Lost Support Among Select Retail Customers Profiled in BIGinsight(TM) Analysis

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A new analysis of the July Consumer Survey from BIGinsight™ (N = 8,509) profiles retail customers and their voting preferences heading into Election 2012. Support for the current president among likely voters who shop particular retailers is off from 2008 by 20%, likely as a result of the frail employment environment and uncertain economy.

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Support Off from ’08 for Walmart, Kohl’s, JC Penney, Macy’s and Target Shoppers

When asked to “vote” as if the election were held today, JC Penney and Kohl’s Shoppers* who are likely** to vote in November, are more likely to vote for Mitt Romney; while Macy’s and Target Shoppers say they would vote for President Obama, according to a special analysis of the Monthly Consumer Survey from BIGinsight™ (July-12, N=8,509). Walmart Shoppers remain split. However, a closer look at the data shows that votes for Obama are off from the proportion of Shoppers who voted for him in 2008 by 20% or more.

Support for President Obama for Select Retail Shoppers

Walmart Shoppers
Would Vote Obama/2012: 40.4%
Voted Obama/2008: 53.2%
Percent Change: -24.0%

Kohl’s Shoppers
Would Vote Obama/2012: 37.9%
Voted Obama/2008: 50.0%
Percent Change: -24.1%

JC Penney Shoppers
Would Vote Obama/2012: 39.8%
Voted Obama/2008: 51.3%
Percent Change: -22.4%

Macy’s Shoppers
Would Vote Obama/2012: 49.7%
Voted Obama/2008: 62.4%
Percent Change: -20.4%

Target Shoppers
Would Vote Obama/2012: 45.1%
Voted Obama/2008: 60.4%
Percent Change: -25.3%

Source: BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer Survey (JUL-12) Analysis

*Shoppers are defined as those who indicate through an unaided, write-in question that they shop that particular retailer most often for at least one merchandise category.
**Somewhat/very likely to vote in 2012 Presidential Election

Of the likely voters profiled, uncertainty appears to be impacting support for the president. 20.1% of Kohl’s, 19.7% of Target and 18.7% of Walmart Shoppers state they are currently undecided. Interestingly, these three groups also report slightly higher levels of unemployment. With the official unemployment rate at 8.2% (not counting discouraged workers) and remaining flat over the past few months, these voters have yet to see, or expect, real improvement.

“Regarding the U.S. employment environment, over the next six (6) months, do you think that there will be more, the same or fewer layoffs than at present?”

Walmart Shoppers
More: 26.3%
Same: 54.5%
Fewer: 19.2%

Kohl’s Shoppers
More: 23.7%
Same: 57.4%
Fewer: 18.9%

JC Penney Shoppers
More: 25.4%
Same: 53.3%
Fewer: 21.3%

Macy’s Shoppers
More: 22.7%
Same: 53.1%
Fewer: 24.2%

Target Shoppers
More: 22.8%
Same: 56.6%
Fewer: 20.6%

Source: BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer Survey (JUL-12) Analysis

“Despite an increase in single family home building, which is generally a positive sign for job growth potential, unemployment remains high as many companies are scaling back hiring plans amid concerns over the Euro debt crisis,” said Dianne Kremer, Senior Analyst, BIGinsight. “Therefore, how the candidates address the issue of job creation will be critical heading into November. Understanding how specific retail shoppers are feeling about the issues provides key insights into the mood of shoppers/voters.”

Although Walmart Shoppers likely to vote are split between the candidates, more of these Shoppers sit on the left side of the aisle than the right: 38.2% align with the Democrats and 33.1% with Republicans. Kohl’s Shoppers are split down the political line (34.8% Democrat vs. 34.9% Republican), while JC Penney, Macy’s, and Target Shoppers tend to side with the Democrats.

For a full, complimentary report:

About BIGinsight™
BIGinsight delivers customized timely market intelligence from various sources through its cloud-based technology-driven Integrated Solutions Platform. Solutions are delivered on multiple devices (PC/Tablet/Smartphone) though the InsightCenter™ tool using diverse information sources relevant to clients’ business needs. Margin of error is +/- 1.1%.

Chrissy Wissinger, Senior Manager, Communications

Dianne Kremer, Senior Analyst


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Chrissy Wissinger
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