market demographics

delannw delannw at dlogue.net
Fri Jun 30 05:58:43 EDT 2000


While there are probably studies out there, be careful about using market
demographics for a location that is not similar to your own.  If I were
selling in downtown Chicago, wouldn't that demographic be somewhat different
than the demographic for the smaller towns?

I sell in a small city, in the downtown area.  The city, Kankakee, is
situated closely to two other towns...Bradley and Bourbonnais. Each town is
a bit different but they are so close geographically...they practically melt
into eachother at the edges.

For what it is worth, I notice that at our Saturday morning market (7AM -
1PM) the customers differ as the morning progresses.  At 7AM, the customers
are 60 - 80 years old...waiting already at 6:30AM.  By 9AM the customers get
a bit younger...40's, 50's, and by  10AM we start seeing families with
children.  By 11AM the 20's and 30's start showing up.
Between 12 - 1 there just aren't that many customers.

I would also guess that we have only slightly more women shopping than men
in all age groups except the oldest...where you would expect to see more
women anyway.

Funny thing is, I am able to sell produce and herbs at a fair price in the
Kankakee area...where there are six or more large grocery stores and three
or four large market stands to compete against.  As it turns out, though, I
sell 10 times as much in Kankakee (at fair market price) than I did selling
30 miles south in a town with only two grocery stores and one farm stand.
Why?  Because 30 miles south most people grow their own...and they still
think a bushel of tomatoes is worth about $8.

I point that out, because basic demographics may be less important than the
characteristics of the area.

One of these days, I'm going to get a battery powered cash register instead
of this stupid calculator with a tape that I currently have.  I think it
would be interesting to know what the average customer spends at my stand
and what THEIR demographics are.

Del Williams
Farmer in the Del
Clifton IL





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