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Higher gas and grocery prices, coupled with an uncertain economic environment, are driving more consumers to Wal-Mart for electronics, home improvement and groceries, according to the April Retail Ratings Report from BIGresearch.

Electronics

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For the Electronics category, Wal-Mart had the highest year-over-year growth in share of consumers that shop there most often: Its share increased from 15% to 16% from April to April, giving Wal-Mart a Consumer Equity Index (CEI)* score of 107.15.

(CEI measures growth in share year over year. An index of 100 signifies flat growth; an index of 105 indicates 5% growth.)

Best Buy had a slight decrease in share from 28.6% in April ’07 to 27.7% in April ’08, making its CEI 96.88.

Home Improvement

Home Depot continued to lead in the Home Improvement sector, but share of preference declined from 28.6% in April 2007 to 27.6% in 08 with a CEI of 96.39.

Second-place Lowe’s remained flat with a CEI of 100.46, while third-place Wal-Mart experienced relatively substantial share growth, with a CEI of 111.97.

Groceries

Wal-Mart maintained a strong lead in the Groceries category as consumer share increased to 15.3% in April, from 13.6% in April ’07.

Wal-Mart is also picking up grocery shoppers with higher incomes. Among households that report an income greater than $50K, Wal-Mart’s share of preference as a grocer increased from 12.3% in 2007 to 13.5% in 2008:

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No. 2 Kroger marginally weakened with a CEI rating of 96.81, and No. 3 Publix underwent a steeper decline (83.98 CEI).

About the data: BIGresearch’s Retail Ratings Reports (RRR) are issued monthly for 12 major merchandise categories (http://info.bigresearch.com/). They are developed from BIGresearch’s monthly Consumer Intentions & Actions (CIA) Survey of over 7,500 online interviews.

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