Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Disturbing data observation from Bentonville

This transcript details an extremely chilling trend observed by Wal-Mart's data analysis team: an apparent spike in consumer spending at the 12:00 AM hour on the first of the month, specifically paid for by government benefits.
"And you need not go further than one of our stores on midnight at the end of the month. And it's real interesting to watch, about 11 p.m., customers start to come in and shop, fill their grocery basket with basic items, baby formula, milk, bread, eggs, and continue to shop and mill about the store until midnight, when ... government electronic benefits cards get activated and then the checkout starts and occurs. And our sales for those first few hours on the first of the month are substantially and significantly higher."
Hat tip to NPR Blog.