KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS
American consumers, you expect a lot. Some might say you're spoiled.
You want a good deal, which means value for the price, and many of you passed on Wal-Mart in November because the prices were not right. And you like to get a lot done at one stop, hence the growth of the megastores where you can outfit your bedroom and stock up your kitchen at the same time.
But you want the experience to be easy, fast and pleasant, reports WSL Strategic Retail, New York-based market research consultants.
You don't want to spend 20 minutes in search of parking and hike in. You prefer edited merchandise instead of 15 sweater colors and 37 cereal brands. What's more, you want a pleasant environment for shopping, says Wendy Liebman, a WSL executive.
Some other trends that are getting retailers' attention: You love your pets and will spend big bucks on a sweater or toy for those rascals. High-end retailers such as Coach, Burberry and Anthropologie and designers such as Ralph Lauren got the message and have added designer clothes for Fido.
So the scoop is you'll likely see more pet products and smaller boutique areas in big stores.
As for more parking spaces? Don't bet on it.