LEAKS: Walmart PowerPoint On "3 Customer" Plan

UPDATE: You can download the slides in full from these two sites:
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=IBCTP2LY Down.

UPDATE: Walmart Wins Because We Fumbled
Walmart Sends Us DMCA Takedown Letter For Slideshow
Walmart Confirms Slideshow, Positively Spins “Conscientious Objectors”

We received what appears to be an internal Walmart PowerPoint presentation detailing its plan to break down it customers into three core segments, a strategy that announced last week.

There’s 29 slides in total. We enjoy slide 4. On it, Walmart classifies 14% of “The Shopper Universe” as being “Conscientious Objectors.” We guess these are the people who refuse to shop at Walmart on principle.

These shoppers are defined as being “less loyal” to Walmart.

Slides 11-13 detail the “psychographics” of a price-value shopper. 14% of this group find themelves lonelier than most people. 47% say religion is an important thing in their life.

Slide 16 says that “Brand Aspirationals are behaviorally committed shoppers of Wal-Mart, but less so emotionally.”

Slide 22 says that 22% of Brand Aspirationals say they, “feel like I never have time for the people in my life.”

Kathy, can you hit the lights? Everyone hear me in the back? Ok, great, let’s get started…

If you’re interested in this material, be sure to download it and save it elsewhere, as there’s a pretty good chance someone may want us to take it down.

UPDATE: Images redacted per Wal-Mart’s request.

THE END. Slide 29 of 29. — BEN POPKEN


Edit Your Comment

  1. uhyesiam says:

    Wal-Mart: Killer of small towns, hopes and dreams.

    (Also subject of one of the funnier South Park episodes.)

  2. Beelzebub says:

    As a Conscientious Objector, I want…



    in a store with

    Wow, 1 out of 3 ain’t bad!

    Are the wider aisles important because Americans are getting so darn fat?

  3. The_Truth says:

    Seriously, high quality American made products that I can feel ‘patriotic’ about buying, tops my list.

    But that will never happen methinks.

  4. royal72 says:

    what about the “tweaker” customer?! sure they’re a lil short on funds, but they will definitely purchase certain items continuously. perhaps it may be a good idea to steal a page from home depot and create a tweaker aisle.

  5. uhyesiam says:

    Antagonistic to small business? That’s like saying Hitler was “antagonistic” towards Europe’s Jews.

    Yes, I just compared Wal-Mart to Hitler. I’m OK with that.

  6. surfacenoise says:

    You might be a Price Value Shopper if…

  7. segfault, registered cat offender says:


    No, I doubt it will happen–nearly all manufacturing is overseas now. What I ask for is a clean, uncluttered, and uncrowded store. Target and Meijer aren’t perfect but I think they do a better job of providing that.

  8. AcilletaM says:

    Skews rural

    No shit!

  9. myrall says:

    And voila! Here’s your typical segmentation study. Half the fun of these types of studies is sitting around coming up with the names of the segments. I do notice that whomever put this report together failed to include a few things: margin of error, confidence level and whether or not those numbers they were showing were statistically significant.

    I did find it interesting that they chose a mixed methodology. Phone interviews are on the way out as a method of compiling research. More and more people refuse to answer the phone these days. HOWEVER, the phone is still the major way to communicate with lower income households (the major consumers of Wal-Mart’s goods) as they typically don’t have computers for online surveys. Either that, or they started with phone methodology and then failed to get the numbers they needed and moved online.

    Bottom line – this study isn’t all that revealing. I’d love to know more about their screening criteria.

  10. formergr says:

    I love that all three segments only want great prices, faster checkout, and wider aisles.

  11. KevinQ says:

    Wow, this is actually really fascinating, not just about Walmart, but about people in general:

    Price Value Shopper: 72% of them tend to be very focused on getting the most for their money, but 83% of them are not very analytical. Which, presumably, is how Walmart got away with selling bulk items at a higher per-unit price.

    Brand Aspirational Shopper: People who are more likely to buy based on brand are less savvy when it comes to understanding what they’re buying.



  12. mikesfree says:

    This data seems to fit perfect with my plan to widen aisles and improve the checkout times.

    Man I hate that place. I cant believe that migraine was misspelled in a corporate presentation.

  13. Xenolith says:

    I believe “price sensitive affluent shopper” is the very nicest synonym for “raging cheapass” I’ve ever heard. Major props to the Consumerist for unleashing this little revelation.

  14. Brie says:

    >Are the wider aisles important because Americans are getting so darn fat?

    Wider aisles are important to me because I read a lot of labels and do a lot of standing analysis in a store, and I want 1) people to be able to get around me while I do this and 2) to be able to get around other people who do this. Trader Joe’s actually gets LESS of my money than they’d like because the stores are so narrow and crowded that I get in, get what I need and get out. There’s just no room to browse.

  15. kerry says:

    I wonder if the people shopping for “brands they trust” at Walmart realize that doing so will make those very brands less trustworthy. I’m a pretty big proponent of brand loyalty, but that immediately goes out the window when dealing with brands sold at Walmart. Their products are required to be made with lower quality to keep those “unbeatable prices” Walmart demands. Ugh, this is putting me off my lunch.

  16. Mr_Human says:

    Can you also just post the PowerPoint file?

  17. kerry says:

    @MissedTheExit: There was a study recently that showed if a customer at a store is standing to examine a product and gets bumped by another customer (due to narrow aisles or walkways) they will put down whatever they were thinking of buying and move along. Wider spaces make everybody feel comfortable taking time to pick out a product (and buy it), rather than feel like they’re being crowded out by other shoppers and hurry past.

  18. B says:

    30% Wal-Mart’s most loyal customers “Price-Value Shoppers” suffer from depression. I know what this means, Great-Value branded anti-depressants.

  19. br549 says:

    I refuse to shop at Walmart because it’s depressing just to walk in the door. They typically feel run down and poorly kept. And the big prices everywhere just hammer home that I’m only shopping here for the prices.

    I typically end up in Wal-Mart once or twice a year when I’m shopping while travelling (Wal-Marts are easy to find) or when with my dad, who loves to shop there.

    Does Wal-Mart consider me a conscientious objector even though my objections aren’t to the name or their treatment of employees, only how their actions affect me?

  20. mopar_man says:

    Are the wider aisles important because Americans are getting so darn fat?

    I think it’s because there’s so many brain-dead morons that shop at Wal-Mart who like to park their carts sideways across an isle or stand right in the middle of it to look at something on either side.

  21. QuirkyRachel says:

    I like that the Conscientious Objectors are “less loyal,” as if there really is some redeeming spark of loyalty buried deep inside…

  22. kenposan says:

    I am in the 14% of conscientious objectors.

  23. Mr_Human says:

    No, I’m afraid they shop everywhere


  24. phrygian says:

    My father _is_ the Price Sensitive Affluent shopper. Reading that description. all I can see is my dad’s face. I still needle him about the time he got his haircut at Wal-Mart instead of driving a mile further and going to a proper barbershop.

  25. aka Cat says:

    So all Wal-Mart has to do to become more successful, is to convince people to drop out of school.

  26. etinterrapax says:

    @QuirkyRachel: I couldn’t help but notice that all survey respondents were described as “more loyal” or “less loyal” Wal-Mart shoppers, as though there is no one who is not a Wal-Mart shopper. Doubtless this is what they’d like to believe, though probably because the percentage of people who have access to a Wal-Mart but don’t shop there at all ever is much too small to bother with. That’s depressing.

    They miss the point about the wider aisles. If the aisle is miles wide and still clogged with shoppers, it is de facto narrow, and I want nothing to do with it. The store will be overcrowded and too noisy with the conversation and shouting children and PA system and rambling muzak and yap, and I feel like taking a nap just thinking about it. Quiet, clean, and uncrowded is what I want. And then: good prices on brand-name items that are identical to brand-name items sold elsewhere. When brands compromise quality to sell al Wal-Mart prices, they’re worthless, and it’s the beginning of the end for them everywhere.

  27. MaliBoo Radley says:

    I’m a conscientious objector for sure. I haven’t shopped in a Walmart in over 2 years. Now that I live in England, I’m a conscientious objectors of Asda and Tesco as well. I shope at high street (main street) shops. Long live the small business!

    I agree that this may seem idealistic, but it’s my money .. I do with it as I please.

  28. Regardless of content, this Powerpoint file is barely undergraduate-business-school quality. Cramming text in slides is the worst way to convey that information. Powerpoint shouldn’t be used as a crutch–it should be used to support an oral presentation. Using it for more than charts and titles demonstrates lazy thinking.

    Plus, when you put all your information in dummy-proof slides, it makes it that much easier to leak it out.

  29. jgodsey says:

    this is where Firefox add on Downthemall comes in handy.

  30. healthdog says:

    I’m surprised that Walmart didn’t show the conscientious objector as a suicidal-looking hippie. The guy is smiling and everything. hmmm…

  31. Steve_Holt says:

    @Cannot Find Server:

    I completely agree. As if all the survey data conveyed on most of those slides wouldn’t be easier to understand in a pie chart or some type of graph. I remember getting yelled at in B-school for stuff like that.

    Definitely an ugly slide-set, but still interesting. Has anyone found a link to an actually .ppt or .pdf yet?

  32. Keep talking...I'm listening says:

    Despite all of their research, they seem to miss the thing their customers want back on slide 6. Customers want quality prices at low prices with good service.

    Wal-Mart has the low prices, but that’s it. Their stores are a nightmare to shop at. Hell, it’s a nightmare to park at. I’m proud to say it’s been 9 months since I’ve been to one.

  33. billwrtr says:

    These slides rate a D+ in design and presentation. Way way too many words/slide. Inconsistent margins, words overlap margins, all Ariel (hey, c’mon this isn’t HTML; you have other fonts), cheesy stereotyped photos, photo aspect ratio messed up, etc. etc. Walmart should hire a designer/technical writer. Plus, with this much info on the slides, who needs a presenter?

  34. juri squared says:

    I range between “trendy quality seeker” and “conscientious objector.” Wal-Mart must hate me. :P

  35. schvitzatura says:

    Going to a Wal-Mart is like going to a dangerous traveling carnival, you know the kinds where the rides are held together with baling wire and the cotton candy is deep-fried.

    Their backstock on the sales floor ideology is dangerous, combined with the “stack’em high and watch’em fly” sales methods.

  36. Mr_Human says:

    @Cannot Find Server: A lot of times these kinds of presentations aren’t presented to everyone who needs to see them. They also get distributed to managers and strategists, and thus need to contain all the relevant information. PP has grown beyond a presenter’s tool into a method of efficiently distributing research and strategy summaries.

  37. droppedD says:

    My girlfriend works for a market research firm, and they work for some big-name retailers (clothing companies similar to Hollister, etc., for example). I don’t get the big deal about this presentation — this looks exactly like every other qualitative market segment brief i’ve seen. “Aspirational” is just an industry term for “brand-name whore without quite enough money.” And “skew more urban than average” is code for “a lot of blacks and latinos.”

    Anyways, this is pretty run-of-the-mill stuff in qualitative market research briefs. The only notable thing is that their PowerPoint deck design sucks – even by industry standards.

  38. mathew says:

    So basically, Wal-Mart have written off us conscientious objectors as customers?

  39. mathew says:

    @Mr_Human: “efficiently”? Powerpoint? You must have a different version than the rest of us.

  40. droppedD says:

    @billwrtr: Like mr_human says, decks (presentations) like this go out to many people, and may have been designed by a marketer on his or her Mac but then needs to be loaded up on the Windows 2000 machine at the customer’s corporate headquarters, or maybe needs to be emailed to Kinko’s to be printed out in hard-copy. Arial is a dependable san-serif font, even if it’s ugly, and unlike Georgia or Palatino, you know every computer anywhere you go will have it installed.

    On the other hand, I find the marketing industry’s trend to use PowerPoint not just for presentations but for document layout and to use horrid fonts, instead of using InDesign or Scribus and exporting to PDF with whatever fonts you want, to be fairly horrifying. *shrug*

  41. Mr_Human says:

    @mathew: Ah, sarcasm. You’re saying you don’t believe that PP is a reasonable tool to efficiently present research summaries? Why, exactly?

  42. skittlbrau says:

    I completely believe this is valid… I just left my job at Ford Motor Company, and this is the type of tripe they unload at “brand awareness” rollouts and other company cheerleading sessions.

  43. skittlbrau says:

    Sheesh – this is the tripe they unloaded at the bored white collar workers while I worked for Ford. I wonder if this means walmart is going down the tubes too.

  44. The Aristotle quote (slide #6) made me smile. Someone in Wal*Mart PowerPoint land has a sense of humour.

  45. KenyG says:

    I shop at walmart plenty, but only for household nessessities – and some dry goods – TP, dog food, cereal etc. Where do I fit in… I think into the batch of folks that has a Walmart within 1/2 mile of their house – it’s just is convienent. Before it was Walmart I shopped at the store that was there before…

    I don’t usually buy clothes there but will pick up light bulbs if needed.

  46. Youthier says:

    @droppedD: Agreed. The company I work for does something similar as well.

  47. Asherah says:


    One can only hope.

  48. joshaz says:

    I am a concientious objector to Wal-Mart……..not because of their business practices, but because of the lack of convenience and service. The argument of ‘one stop shopping’ to save time is a joke. Crowded aisles, long lines, and associates who do not speak english. I am not talking about shelf stockers, I am talking about sales associates who do not speak English in America. I finally got tired of exiting the store to find my car surrounded by shopping carts, and a cart boy sitting there *NOT* doing his job. Maybe if Wal-Mart could pay its employees a fair wage they could attract some talent that would do their job AND be able to communicate with their customers. Until then, you will find me at the Target all the across town from my home while Wal-Mart is literally 4 blocks away.

  49. rhett121 says:

    This doesn’t surprise me in the least. Walmart seems to pride itself on selling the cheapest crap at the highest prices it can get away with. Last time I was there I noticed their prices were actually higher than several other places I shopped including the local grocery store. I haven’t been back in a Walmart in about 6 months. I really hate the store and everything it stands for but in some places they have successfully run everyone else out of business, so now you have no choice.

    They should have had a slide with the brutally honest caption “Only a complete f***ing moron would shop with us!”

    You should take a little time to walk through a Walmart and make notes, then do it again in 6 or 8 months. They change brands often so that they can keep selling cheaper and cheaper crap. I fully expect anything I buy from Walmart to break 5 minutes after I leave the store with it. Even light bulbs! I bought the exact same light bulbs (even same brand) at both Walmart and another more reputable retailer and ALL of the Walmart purchased bulbs burnt out before the first “other” retailers bulbs did (and these were in the same multi-outlet ceiling fixture).

    If you are so obviously short-sighted to seeing what kind of damage Walmart has done and continues to do to our economy then by all means, keep shopping there, but don’t come crying to me when you can’t find a job and can’t find any quality products anywhere.

  50. Trai_Dep says:

    Ben you are so not going to be on Wal-Mart’s Christma– Holida– Christmas card list…

  51. crisrose says:

    “I wonder if the people shopping for “brands they trust” at Walmart realize that doing so will make those very brands less trustworthy…Their products are required to be made with lower quality to keep those “unbeatable prices” Walmart demands.”

    Somewhat like factory workers shopping at Walmart, buying products manufactured in China, then complaining when the factory closes and they’re laid off.

    Pretty soon, everything in the country will be low quality throw away crap. Thanks Walmart shoppers!

  52. Trai_Dep says:

    I’d love to see the section on Conscientious Objectors. Guess they didn’t include it b/c rule one of consultants: don’t piss off the client.

  53. bearymore says:

    @myrall: From the limited data they do include, I’d say they have some problems. For example, they only interviewed people who admitted to shopping at discount stores, yet they weighted the results to reflect the census distribution on age, income, etc. Furthermore, if the in person interviews were computer assisted, that would probably mean they used a mall/store intercept. I’m sure discount store shoppers do not have the same demographics as the general population nor do people who are at a mall and are willing to be stopped for a lengthy interview. I’m guessing that they are probably overweighting high income / education groups. So the “Price Sensitive Affluent Shoppers” probably aren’t that affluent and may be a methodological artifact. I doubt affluents will admit to spending less because they have to stretch their budgets, worry more than average about affordable health care, or both watch PBS and read Popular Mechanics. As someone who does a lot of segmentation analysis, seeing this kind of result would immediately ring my “I’ve got an artifact!” alarm.

  54. jkfan87 says:

    KevinQ…usually the bulk items per unit price is insignificantly higher (like a fraction of a penny) and usually lower despite what you want us to beleive.

    Some peope are willing to pay 5 extra cents to get one easy to carry/store package than several smaller ones. CAse in point is toilet paper. I get mine at Walmart. The Angel Soft used to be 99 cents for a 4 pack, and 5.99 for a 24 pack.

    I would musch rather go once a month to buy my TP, and have one large wrapped package than several smaller ones. And since it is alreayd much cheaper than any other store’s prices, that 5 cents is not a big deal.

  55. KenyG says:

    I don’t want to come off like I’m pro-walmart – but they are around the corner from me, the checkout lines usually aren’t bad. There is an albertson’s at the other end that I shop at as well. You have to comparison shop – and be an educated consumerist (ding) – as far as being made in China – that is true of a lot of stuff. Where was that computer you’re typing on made? Might of been assembled here, but the parts were damn sure manufactured in the far east – same with your TV, Stereo, and the coffee cup I am drinking out of (just checked the bottom).

  56. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    That PowerPoint presentation is kind of creepy…does anyone else get the sense of “Here is demographic profile of our enemy..we must defeat him at all costs!!!”

    Granted, I’m sure most major retail chains do this kind of research, but still it makes me wonder if next they’ll be outfitting my shopping cart with a GPS vehicle location system and cameras to see what I buy, and RFID sniffers to see what I have in my wallet.

    I like the comparison between Wal-Mart and the dangerous traveling carnival. It’s shopping and a show… especially Saturday night around midnight. Like the night there was a group of kids playing “assassin” with squirt guns in the parking lot, or the guys in the 4X4 playing “whip-a-cart” (where you have your buddy grab a Wal-Mart carraige and he holds on while you see how fast you can get your truck going before he has to let go).

    One night around midnight, I was in the express lane, and the guy in front of me had a 12 pack of Coors and an EPT. Wow, talk about life hitting bottom. Or the creepy semi-midget in the shoe department that started talking to me and began ranting because he couldn’t get a decent pair of wingtips, and all the dress shoes must have been designed by some homosexual designer because they had square toes (his actual verbiage wasn’t that polite).

    I swear, I couldn’t make stuff like that up.

  57. catfishdancing says:

    Why would Wally-World treat it’s customers with any more regard than it does their employees, or the employees of the sweat shops and prison labor factories that they buy from?

  58. Uurp says:

    Hah! Page 9- “Highly Female: 84%”

    The other 16% are NASCAR fans.

  59. cedarpointfan says:

    For the record, this slideshow sucks. The company looks like they spent 10 minutes making it. I wouldn’t flip a penny.

  60. timmus says:

    Back when I was planning to start a health/hospital ratings site I was planning to go anonymous and put the actual hosting on a Dutch server site.

    Consumerist should think about that for holding hot potato content (under the guise of it being run by a “friend” of Consumerist). There’s no way I would put hot potatoes on an American webhosting account. Most U.S. hosting companies and registrars roll over like lapdogs for the lawyers.

  61. aikoto says:

    This stuff is based on a marketing philosophy called Angel and Demon customers and Best Buy has been toying with this for a while. I have some data on it here: http://www.jeremyduffy.com/best-buy-fights-the-devil/

  62. thebog says:

    but the parts were damn sure manufactured in the far east –

    I think it’s the “WalMart” mentality that created a demand for overseas manufacturing… in school we researched why Snapper lawn mowers are no longer sold at WalMart – WalMart “told” them to start looking for overseas manufacturers… Snapper decided to keep it’s product in the US, and dropped WalMart – so if you support US manufacturing, buy a Snapper lawn mower!

    research – fastcompany.com (or google – snapper walmart) The company that said no to WalMart

  63. mac-phisto says:

    wal-mart by no means started this trend. kmart put american textile mills out of business well before wal-mart was a household name, electronics went abroad with the advent of radioshack & american car manufacturers have been building lemons in mexico for decades.

    the mentality that really needs to be combated is the idea that cheaper is better. years of marketing have ingrained this idea in consumers. we are really becoming a “spend, don’t mend” society.

    incidentally, i wonder if “conscientious objector” actually means “understands that we sell crap”.

  64. Craig says:

    Do depressed people with migraines shop at WalMart or are people depressed and getting migraines because they shop at WalMart? Enquiring minds want to know.

    Also, some of the conclusions made in this presentation don’t match up with the numbers. In particular, take a look at the self-image numbers.

  65. quadman says:

    “conscientious objector”: One who can identify cheap plastic crap, manufactured by slave labor, and chooses to buy from a more responsible retailer.

  66. rcarboy says:


    I’m an accounting major, but I’m doing a personal study and analysis on the price comparisons of WalMart and their competitors for a management class. Very Interested in the retail industry and always wanting to learn more for many reasons. I fully understand how WalMart has taken control of the industry, and how benefitial its supply chain is. But what I ask is what do all of you think of when you notice the differences of prices of WalMarts products and their competitors? Not the obvious and how huge they are, but somewhat internal thinking and strategies. Demographic aspects? Just wondering what all of you thought about it– after I’ve seen some of you write pretty interesting comments, I figured you would have valuable input. Thank You and you comments will be greatly appreciated.