Sunday, November 11, 2012

Who is doing the shopping?

I was listening to a retailer last week discuss the interaction between housewives and grocery stores.  The tone of his remarks suggested that he thought housewives were grocery stores' principal customers.

This didn't seem right to me, so I tabulated the Family Type and Employment variable in the 2006-2010 sample of the American Community Sample (having a laptop with flash memory is pretty awesome--it allowed me to do it in about five minutes).

Here are the results:

Household Type                                           # of Households         % 0f Households

Married Couple, both in labor force|           22,309,285                           41.16      
Married Couple, only man in labor force      8,792,744                           16.22      
Married Couple, only woman in labor force 2,933,758                            5.41      
Married Couple, neither in labor force          6,473,742                          11.94      
Male only, in labor force                               2,848,830                            5.26      
Male only, not in labor force                            720,066                            1.33      
Female only, in labor force                            7,230,003                          13.34      
Female only, not in labor force                       2,890,776                           5.33    

I am guessing that most retailers know and understand the implications of a country where only 16 percent of households have housewives (in the traditional sense of the word), but perhaps they are not.