Walmart, Meet the Ritz-Carlton

I was recently on vacation in Marina Del Rey, CA staying at the Ritz-Carlton. One morning while waiting at the valet for my car, I saw this amazing scene. In the picture to the left, you see a woman packing up her shiny black SUV with a number of bags from Walmart. Something about the Ritz luggage cart covered in Walmart bags first made me laugh, then think. What is the future of thesenouveauWalmart shoppers?

Due to the economy, manyshoppershave shifted their behavior. We have read about this a number of times. However, now that things arestabilizing, who will be the first ones to jump ship back to their old lifestyle?

Recently, at Iconosphere, it was said that recovery will be slow, as will the shift for shoppers out of entrenched recession behaviors. However,likeeverythingelse in the world, I assume a “shopper recovery spectrum” exists. The fringes at either end of the spectrum will either never return to their previous behaviors or be the first to make a bee line for Whole Foods. It makes one really think about their own target audiences. Where do your shoppers live on that spectrum? At what point can you stop selling them deals and start selling them your brand again?