So long, soccer moms. Welcome, Walmart women, we are in!
I ‘ve been hearing the term “Walmart women” tossed around by the political pundits for several weeks. They’ve been assigning a huge political power base to this segment of America that is up for grabs as the Republican and Democrat candidates slug it out. Excuse me…make that the vice presidential candidates who seem to be grabbing the headlines.
I’m a woman and I make at least one trip a week to romp around Walmart, so I guess that makes me part of the questionable category of women identified as Walmart Women.
I have no choice, really. Where’re you gonna go when you need a food processor or Halloween decorations. You can even rotate your tires while you stock up on two for one Spaghettios. In my town, Walmart is the singular source for such “necessities.”
After a bit of research I learned that the “Walmart Woman” label applies to middle- to lower-middle-class women who have a high school education and are struggling to make ends meet. Okay, I’m in. And it’s a literal label: 17 percent of the voters interviewed in a recent poll done for the Wall Street Journal/NBC News are women who regularly shop at Walmart.
Walmart women tend to shop at any place that gives them a fair break on a can of beans. There’s even a song out called “I am Walmart Woman.” The catchy refrain goes like this: “Pushing my shopping cart, I’m superhuman. I am (ta da) Walmart woman!”
One pollster described this segment of society thusly: “Women who shop at Walmart once a week or more tend to be lower income, less well-educated, and more likely to work in hourly wage jobs or be retired than their counterparts who primarily shop at Target.”
Well, as we say down south, I resemble that remark. I have a college degree and once considered myself fairly intelligent – until I got older and realized the flaw in my thinking.
Besides, there’s no Target within 100 miles of my place. I would shop there if I could. Does that count?
But it’s nice to be appreciated by politicos. American women voters have outnumbered men since 1964 and have outvoted men since 1980. In the 2004 election, 65 per cent of women turned out to vote, compared with 62 per cent of men. Apparently the soccer moms who were courted during the last election have been replaced by the Walmart woman who is not going to put up with price gouging or candidates speaking out of both sides of their mouths. No siree.
But I must tell the truth. I’m more of a Fred’s kind of woman since I visit my that store at least once a day. It’s right around the corner from my home and carries everything from small appliances to cheap groceries, not to mention prescription drugs, clothing and two complete aisles of pet products.
I know the manager and all the employees who will take back anything I return – even without a receipt. I guess a Fred’s Woman is one rung lower than a Walmart woman. And Dollar General women – forget it. You’re off the radar screen.
You probably think “Fred’s women” are those “ne’re do wells” who walk around smoking cigarettes, popping chewing gum and driving pick up trucks. More likely, we are the women with pets in our cars who just want to get in and out fast and have a little change left in our pockets.