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    CHARLESTON, SC – May 16, 2005 -- More than 88 percent of American shoppers made purchases in discount stores during April, ranking discount stores as the most popular retail store in the nation.

    The findings came from the Consumer Mind Reader ™ survey, a national research survey conducted every two months by America’s Research Group. Based in Charleston, South Carolina, ARG conducts survey research projects for retailers and manufacturers across the country.

    "Discount stores see more shoppers than any other retail category in America," said Britt Beemer, founder and chairman of America’s Research Group. Beemer noted that the number of shoppers frequenting discount stores has not fallen below 88 percent since April of 2004.

    "Clearly Wal-Mart and other discount stores are drawing shoppers across all age groups, income levels, and other demographics," he said.

    Drug stores followed discount stores in popularity, with 53.3 percent of the shoppers interviewed saying they made purchases in drug stores in April. Home improvement stores, retailers of appliances, electronics and computers, and national department stores like Sears and JC Penney rounded out the top five most popular retail categories.

    The Consumer Mind Reader survey was conducted May 9-11, 2005 and included 1,000 telephone interviews with consumers nationwide. The margin of error is +/- 4.3 percent.

    America’s Research Group tracks the buying habits of the nation’s consumers more than any survey research firm in America. More information is available at http://www.predatory.com.

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


    Ranking Retail Category Percentage of Shoppers
    1 Discount Stores 88.5
    2 Drug Stores 53.3
    3 Home Improvement Stores 34.9
    4 Appliance/Electronics/ Computer Stores 26.3
    5 National Department Stores 29.4
    6 Discount Apparel Stores 29.3
    7 Membership Warehouse Clubs 26.5
    8 Internet 24.7
    9 Auto Parts Stores 21.1
    10 Hardware Stores 17.1