Shopping in the West: Going There WAy

Following considerable interest in our recent eDirections’ article on Sunday trading in Perth, we thought you might like some further information about shopper profiles in Western Australia.

Segmenting our 2013 Consumer Shopping Benchmarks by state, we can see that Western Australian shoppers are, on average, older, wealthier, more car dependent shoppers who are more leisurely in their approach to shopping.

The percentage of shoppers in Married/ de Facto relationships with kids at just over 30% is in line with national averages for shopping centre customers as well as Western Australian demographic profiles. Couple-only households are similarly comparable. The percentage of lone household shoppers is lower than the residential average – as it is nationally – once again indicating that household size has a direct relationship to shopping activity.

Direct comparisons with other states are probably best done by centre type, so let’s have a look at sub-regionals, where we see some really interesting variations in usage patterns.

When we asked shoppers about their main reason for visiting a sub-regional centre on the day of interview, more than 18% of Western Australian customers stated that it was to conduct a main food shop – 4% higher than the national average. Higher than average rates were also recorded for banking, retail services, newsagents and chemists as main drivers of visitation. Contrastingly lower rates were recorded for clothes, shoes, homewares and food catering.

Convenience, then, appears to be an important component of Western Australian sub-regional centre usage. This is further indicated by customers’ lower than average time in centre – Australians spend, on average, six minutes less in sub-regional centres than their national counterparts, despite recording more leisurely approaches to their shopping trips.

This time is used productively, however, with higher than average spends across all categories, and a higher percentage of customers purchasing on all categories except apparel and food catering. When shoppers do purchase apparel, though, they make it worth their while spending an average of $61.23 compared with the national average of $49.87.

While Western Australian shoppers in most occupations spend more than the national average when they make purchases, traditionally high spending groups spend proportionally even more: Managers, Clerical Workers and those engaged in Home Duties far outstrip the expenditure of their counterparts elsewhere. This study shows that Western Australia is a different beast growing in a rapidly changing social and economic framework.

It makes research at a centre level even more important when designing marketing, leasing and investment strategies. In our next edition of eDirections we’ll do some further geographic segmentation, noting some interesting variations in demographic and consumer behaviour patterns in shopping centres in different states.