My friends in the Ohio University Business Cluster are researching the feasibility of opening a Target store in Athens, Ohio. . The purpose of this guide is to point business researchers to some key resources when researching the discount retailer, the industry, and the local market. This guide lists the most highly recommended resources when researching the industry and analyzing the market. I have listed the databases and resources below, with recommendations on how to find the best information in the quickest fashion.
Chad’s research advice
A well-researched feasibility analysis will incorporate information from a majority of the tools below. Some of the databases will be easier to use than others, and researchers are bound to pick a favorite tool to use more than the rest. However, I cannot stress enough how important it is to use SimplyMap, Bizminer, and Mediamark when attempting to understand the consumer market and industry in a specific market. Please note that SimplyMap has a maximum of 5 simultaneous users, so you may need to get up earlier, stay up later, and not procrastinate.
1. Find information about the larger industry and market
When you first get started, you’ll want to gather an understanding about the broader industry and market. The resources in this section provide a broad overview of the department stores and discount department stores in the U.S.
- IbisWorld has a report for “Department Stores in the U.S.”
- First Research has industry analyses of “Discount Department Stores.”
- You can also do the same search for “discount department stores” and find the same content in Hoover’s Online
Business Source Complete
- Business Source Complete has a wealth of information, but the challenge may be in finding the appropriate search terms. Suggestions include Target, retail, discount retail, department stores, etc. To avoid being overwhelmed with search results, limit the search to Trade Publications.
- Statista is a great place to look for statistics about Target Corporation, or the discount department store industry.
2. Gather a deeper understanding about the consumer
After you get a good idea about the larger industry, you’ll want to research the consumers in your market. Market research reports, data, and statistics found in the resources below are an excellent place to start.
- In Passport GMID has reports such as on almost all consumer product categories that you can buy at a Target, as well as reports on “Store-Based Retailing in the U.S.” You might also try looking at the Consumer Lifestyles Reports to get a broad understanding of consumer habits.
- When using Mintel Oxygen for this project, you will find a market research reports for department store retailing, men’s clothes shopping, etc.
- Also look in the Lifestyles category for relevant reports about marketing to specific group, such as boomers, dads, moms, college students.
MRI Mediamark Reporter
- Mediamark Reporter provides excellent national U.S. demographic statistics on who shops at Target by frequency of visit in a given month.
- This video below demonstrates how to use market research to determine if your town will support a Target.
3. Analyze your local market
After you research the consumer market for the industry, you will want to adapt that data down to the local level. The resources below can help you find information about your local market to combine with national consumer market trends.
- Census QuickFacts provides easy access to some of the most-used economic and social statistics.
- The QuickFacts are an easier way to get to census information than American Factfinder.
- You will want to use census data to compare how your local market demographics align with the more general national demographics of a consumer market (like what you find in MediaMark, Mintel, and Passport,above).
- You can also get Census information from SimplyMap.
Ohio County Profiles
- Ohio County Profiles is a really good resource for understanding the demographic and economic characteristics of Ohio. Other states may have similar resources. You will want to use the demographic data found in the profiles and combine that with national demographic data (such as that found in Mediamark Reporter) to understand the characteristics of your local market.
- SimplyMap can help you understand the shopping behavior of people in the Athens area, or any other area for that matter.
- See this guide for help citing SimplyMap.
- This video below demonstrates how to compare retail shopping preferences and demographics across locations using SimplyMap.
- Bizminer contains industry financial ratios, failure and startup rates, competitive market analysis, industry vitality rating, and more for a variety of retail establishments.
- In looking at the Athens department store and discount department store market, use the Competitive Market Analyzer and the Industry Market Reports to drill down to the local county or zip code level. When looking at the Athens market, since it is so small, it might be a good idea to look a the broader NAICS code of “452 General Merchandise Stores” when using Bizminer.
- Use Mergent Intellect companies and competitors by user-defined search criteria, such as size, location, industry, sales, and more.
- Also use to find nearby companies using the “Surrounding Companies” feature.
- Use LexisNexis to find companies and potential competitors in the local market.
- This video shows you how to use the NAICS code to screen for companies in the same industry in a specific location. (need a new video if time)
- You can also use Hoover’s Online to fine a list of companies and potential competitors in the local market.
- Because Hoover’s indexes companies in a slightly different way than LexisNexis, it’s a good idea to run the same search in both databases.