2018 fashion panel research
Target gains ground and is tops in e-commerce

LOUISVILLE, Colo., March 21, 2018 — Consumer demand for value fashion is as strong as ever, and their favorite value fashion retailers are TJ Maxx and Target, according to a new retail study from Market Force Information (Market Force). Market Force polled more than 10,000 consumers for the study, which ranks value* fashion retailers overall, as well as areas such as merchandise selection, customer service and e-commerce. 

TJ Maxx and Target Narrowly Beat out Nordstrom Rack

Even though TJ Maxx fell 8 percentage points over last year, it still earned a 47% score on the Composite Loyalty Index to tie for first with Target, which saw the biggest gain of all the value fashion retailers studied. Nordstrom Rack – the discount arm of Nordstrom, which was named consumers’ favorite premium fashion retailer – was a close second with 46%. Burlington landed in third place with 45%, while Marshall’s, Ross Stores and Walmart ranked fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. 

Graph 1: Favorite Value Fashion Retailers

Burlington Boasts Best Selection

Market Force also looked at value fashion retailer attributes that matter most to consumers and impact where they shop. Ross earned the top spot for value for money spent, a category in which Walmart ranked last, surprisingly. Target scored highest for atmosphere, ease of finding items and checkout speeds. Burlington performed well in the merchandise categories, ranking highest for selection and the ability for shoppers to create a look. Although TJ Maxx failed to dominate in any one category, it performed consistently well across the board. 

Graph 2: Value Fashion Retailers Ranked by Attributes


Less than Half of Shoppers Received Sales Help

Although Market Force found value to be the biggest influencer in choosing where to shop, service is also an important consideration, and just 43% reported being helped by an associate during their last shopping trip. Nordstrom Rack associates assisted customers most often, however, shoppers gave higher marks to Burlington, Target and Ross for understanding their needs and suggesting relevant items. Marshall’s ranked lowest for helping and understanding shoppers. 

Graph 3: Sales Associate Help and Effectiveness


“Nearly half of those surveyed have shopped at a physical retail store at least three times in the past 90 days, typically to enjoy a great in-store experience and to hunt for a good sale,” said Brad Christian, chief customer officer for Market Force. “However, it’s not always about price, even in the value apparel realm. Customers also want attentive and helpful service, and that’s one area where these discount retailers can and should bridge the gap with their premium counterparts.”

Target Wins at E-Commerce

While many consumers like to shop in-person at discount and off-price stores, e-commerce continues to be an important channel for retailers competing with Amazon. Market Force found that Target – which saw 29% year-over-year online sales growth in Q4 2017 – received the most website visits and purchases, and delivered the best online experience. Fifty-one percent reported visiting its website in the previous 90 days and, of them, 72% made a purchase. Walmart’s and Nordstrom Rack’s websites were each visited by 40% of study participants, and nearly two-thirds made online purchases from them. 

Graph 4: Value Retailer Website Purchases and Experience


For the rankings, Market Force asked participants to rate their satisfaction with their most recent value fashion retailer experience, and their likelihood to refer the brand to others. The results were averaged to attain a Composite Loyalty Score. Only retailers with at least 100 locations were included.

Survey Demographics

The survey was conducted online in December 2017 across North America. There was an overall pool of 10,821 respondents covering all U.S. and Canadian regions. Within the survey pool, 6,759 reported shopping for fashion at a favorite retailer within the past 90 days, and 5,109 reported shopping for shoes within the past six months. There was a broad spectrum of income levels, with 54% indicating incomes of over $50,000 a year. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to over 65. Approximately 73% were women and 26% were men.

About Market Force Information
Market Force Information® is a customer experience (CX) management company that provides location-level measurement solutions that help businesses protect their brand reputation, delight customers and make more money. Solutions include customer experience surveys, employee engagement surveys, mystery shopping, contact center services and social media review tracking, which are integrated into one technology and analytics platform, KnowledgeForce®. Founded in 2005, Market Force has a growing global presence, with offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Spain. It serves more than 200 clients that operate multi-location businesses, including restaurants, major retailers, grocery and drug stores, petro/convenience stores, banking & financial institutions and entertainment brands. The company has been recognized one of the top 50 market research organizations in the AMA Gold Report and by Forrester as a Breakout Vendor. For more information about Market Force, please visit us online www.marketforce.com.


* Market Force broke out this year’s fashion retail study into value and premium. The premium brand rankings were announced in February.

Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2018

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