Walmart: Who shops there?

Walmart storeEveryone loves to hate Walmart. So, who shops there and makes it the Goliath that it is?
Is it shoppers like the ones you see in this video posted by

The site claims to be a "satirical social commentary of the extraordinary sights" found at Walmart. Judging by the user-submitted photos on the blog, you would think Walmart only caters to a special kind of demographic. But really, is it only people with absurd outfits, strange body art and outdated hairdos that constitute the discount giant's core clientele? Or is Walmart more inclusive than that?

Walmart spokesman Dan Fogleman said the company doesn't care to comment on the video or the viral blog that's basking in Internet fame with its traffic numbers. The company is also reluctant to share demographics info.

But a study released today by L.E.K. Consulting defies the stereotypes reinforced by L.E.K. finds that the recession has helped Walmart widen its shopper base by drawing in families and older consumers who are in higher income brackets --particularly those with annual incomes between $100,000 and $150,000. Survey respondents believe that Walmart offers a perceived savings of 8 to 10%, and for them to return to their old shopping destinations, those retailers would have to slash perceived prices by 6 to 7%.

"As the economy begins to show signs of stabilization and recovery, consumers have become more positive, but are emerging with new attitudes and shopping behaviors," Andrew Rees, vice president and head of L.E.K.'s retail and consumer products practice, said in a press release. "We have found that consumers now appear more willing to make sacrifices in selection and shopping convenience to better manage their budgets versus two years ago."

So, watch out, this emerging group of Walmart shoppers may make it harder for you to find your chuckles and traffic. Because, unlike in the past, these rich folks may not ditch their loyalty to the chain once the economy turns around.

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