WSL Strategic Retail has recently uncovered a new shopper group that presents growth opportunity in a world where shoppers are spending less. “Optimists” are a new way to look at shoppers. What defines them is their passion for reaching their dreams and aspirations — and they rely on “smart” shopping to get them there.

“Optimistic shoppers cross all gender, age and income groups. They may be struggling today, but they see a better future for themselves, and the future includes trading up and buying what’s new. But, and it’s a big but, they are frugal shoppers who shop smart to get what they want,” said Candace Corlett, President, WSL.

WSL Strategic Retail’s How America Shops 2014 MegaTrends study: The American Dream Remixed, was conducted as a nationwide online survey of 1,919 shoppers: 1,386 women and 533 men, ages 18-70 in November of 2013. It uncovered a variety of data on Optimists, including:

Optimists Shop in More Channels: Optimists “out shop” Pessimists by two channels – 10.7 compared to 8.6.

Optimists Have Increased Spending in Beauty Categories: Optimists spend more and are driving the turnaround in spending in most of the 25 Leading Indicator Categories measured by WSL. In Beauty, Optimists are spending more (vs. a year ago) than Pessimists in Cosmetics, Facial Skin Care, Hair Care and Hair Color.

Optimists Feel Good About Trading Up: Optimists are significantly more likely to experience an emotional payoff from shopping than Pessimists. More Optimists say it makes them feel good to shop in better stores, and to buy more expensive brands.

More Optimists Are Digitally Connected:
Optimists, compared to Pessimists, spend an extra hour a week online shopping and more read reviews and download Apps to help them shop – all by at least +10 ppts. vs. Pessimists.

To learn more about the How America Shops 2014 MegaTrends: The American Dream Remixed report contact Allison Konish @