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    Charleston, SC – September 20, 2005 – Shoppers in August were focused on back-to-school needs and little else, according to America’s Research Group’s Consumer Mind Reader™.

    Discount stores and drug stores once again topped the list as the most popular stores among retail shoppers, but the remainder of the top 10 list showed shifts from the previous survey in June.

    “American consumers in August went shopping for back-to-school needs and other retailers took a hit,” said Britt Beemer, founder and chairman of America’s Research Group.

    As evidence, Beemer noted that apparel stores, which were not among the top 10 most popular stores in June, appeared at number 7 in this survey.

    Home improvement stores and membership warehouse clubs remained in the top 10, but each category slipped three positions in popularity. Discount apparel stores rose two positions to finish fifth in the list. National department stores also moved up a position in the list, finishing third. Auto parts stores lost ground, and hardware stores fell below the top 10 most popular list.

    The Consumer Mind Reader survey is conducted every other month by America’s Research Group, and includes telephone interviews with 1,000 shoppers nationwide. The margin of error is +/- 4.3 percent.

    America’s Research Group, which conducts customized surveys for retail, manufacturing and service clients across North America, tracks the buying habits of the nation’s shoppers more than any other research firm in the country. More information on the Consumer Mind Reader and other surveys is available at http://www.americasresearchgroup.com.

    A listing of the top 10 most popular retail stores for August, 2005 follows.


    Ranking Retail Category Percentage of Shoppers
    1 Discount Stores 89.0
    2 Drug Stores 51.8
    3 National Department Stores 27.7
    4 Discount Apparel Stores 26.7
    5 Internet 23.9
    6 Home Improvement Stores 22.6
    7 Apparel Stores 20.2
    8 Membership Warehouse Clubs 20.1
    9 Appliance/Electronics/ Computer Stores 18.1
    10 Auto Parts Stores 17.9