Study: Local Retailers Missing Opportunity In New Residents

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Targeting recent movers can be an effective way for local retailers to replace the 20 percent to 40 percent annual customer turnover rate they typically experience, yet most never contact new residents directly, according to a new study released by direct marketing firm Moving Targets, Perkasie, PA.

A minimum of 20 percent of customers leave a merchant in any given year, according to the report, "How to Overcome Retail-Customer Erosion by Capturing New Residents." However, 80 percent of new movers are actively searching for a new business to which they can be loyal. This coupled with the fact that most of America moves every five years on average represents a significant prospecting opportunity for local independent businesses.

The study reports the following about new movers: 62 percent eat pizza; 65 percent of female new residents are anxious about finding a good hairstylist; 67 percent say it's difficult to find an honest auto repair shop; 80 percent redeem gift certificates offered by local merchants and 98 percent appreciate gifts or offers from local merchants.

Because people typically move as a result of a major life transition -- marriage, new job, birth, retirement and divorce are common reasons -- new residents are often faced with a host of new challenges, the report states. They can be lonely, unsure and looking to replace severed social and community connections.

According to research from the U.S. Postal Service cited in the study, an estimated 80 percent of new residents will try new products and services from local business during the first 24 months after a move. On average, new residents spend $7,100 for goods directly attributable to their relocation.

The complete study is available at

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