Retail

Increased Liquor Offerings Would Help Walmart Reel In Younger Shoppers

Image Credit: Image by jimaro morales from Pixabay

As of this moment, Walmart has more than 4,750 stores scattered across all 50 U.S. states. That’s some serious reach. 

Maybe that convenience factor is what’s driving the strong interest among U.S. consumers in having the superstore stock hard liquor on its shelves, where possible. 

Of course, liquor laws can vary by state and even by county, but more than half of the 2,027 U.S. adults (age 21 and older) surveyed by CivicScience said they were at least “somewhat interested” in buying liquor at Walmart.

Walmart currently sells hard liquor in a little over 30 states. Walmart lost out on a potentially huge liquor market last month, when Texas upheld its unusual ban on publicly-traded companies selling liquor. (Privately-held companies can still sell it there, oddly enough.) 

So, who is — or would be, depending on the state — the typical Walmart booze customer? 

CivicScience data confirm some of the ideas you might be distilling right now. Interest in buying spirits at Walmart skews younger, and slightly more male. People who already like Walmart are more interested in buying liquor there. Enthusiasm is fairly even across income levels.

But the top-line numbers don’t tell the whole story. Among clear spirits drinkers — i.e., the target market itself — more than two-thirds of respondents said they were at least “somewhat likely” to buy liquor at Walmart.

Those who drink brown spirits are interested at a very similar rate.

The numbers are even more promising for Walmart among people who drink liquor fairly regularly (twice per month or more). Four out of five said they were interested.

Vapers, Cannabis Users Are Particularly Interested

Other parallels exist, too. For instance, interest is strong among those who oppose the proposed federal ban on flavored vaping products (many of whom are vapers themselves, presumably).

In the same vein, cannabis users were more likely than non-users to be interested in buying liquor at Walmart.

One more insight: people who typically order off of the value menu at fast food restaurants were much more likely than others to be “very interested” in buying liquor at Walmart.

The typical Walmart liquor purchaser would be a young man who drinks spirits with some regularity. He’s more likely to be interested in vaping and using cannabis than others. He also doesn’t mind buying a quick McChicken sandwich at the drive-thru every now and then. 

More broadly, interest is deep across all income brackets, particularly among people under the age of 55. In states and counties where it’s legal, Walmart would be wise to continue pursuing and expanding liquor sales.

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