Survey: Holiday Shoppers Pick Target Over Walmart

A recent survey indicates that improved marketing efforts and cost-saving deals are helping the Minneapolis retailer attract more shoppers.

Holiday shoppers are choosing Target over Walmart this season, according to a survey by America's Research Group (ARG) in Charleston, South Carolina.

Retail researcher Britt Beemer of ARG surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers and found that Target's popularity has grown significantly, while the number of Walmart shoppers has plummeted. According to the survey, Target shopping levels rose this past weekend to 20.6 percent from 13.9 percent during the same period last year, while rival Walmart's traffic was down from last year's 43.8 percent to 32.7 percent this year.

“Americans have stopped shopping Walmart in droves and are suddenly heading out to Target,” Beemer said in a statement.

Beemer described the shift as “a big surprise” but explained that one reason could be Target's improved marketing techniques. The retail chain is also offering new, innovative ways for consumers to spend less, Beemer found.

Also, more people are shopping for clothing this holiday season, which is a sore point for Walmart, according to Beemer.

Target announced earlier this month that its net retail sales for November totaled $6.01 billion-up 5.7 percent from $5.7 billion during the same period last year-beating analysts' expectations. On both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Target's Web site was reportedly among the most heavily trafficked.

Target's REDcards-which include the Target credit card, Visa card, and check card-allow customers to receive 5 percent off purchases at store locations and online at In order to bump up sales, Target also launched a pre-Thanksgiving, four-day sale and offered online-only Thanksgiving Day specials.

ARG's research was conducted in collaboration with the equity research group at UBS, a Switzerland-based firm. ARG is a consumer research and strategic marketing firm, led by CEO Beemer.

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation serves customers at 1,752 stores in 49 states nationwide and on its Web site. It is Minnesota's second-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $65.4 billion in its most recently completed fiscal year.