America, as Defined by Wal-Mart

With firm grasp on US consumers, snapshot of giant's sales is a self-portrait
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2007 4:29 PM CDT
Customers shop for shoes at a Wal-Mart store, Monday, Aug. 13, 2007 in Niles, Ill. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported a 49 percent increase in second-quarter profits, but the world's largest retailer cut its...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Wal-Mart knows a lot about Americans, courtesy of the 208 million US consumers who shop there every year. ABC News takes a look at the superstore's sales figures and finds a portrait of the nation's changing face and taste. Some highlights: Boxers are tied with briefs; Ohio buys the most TVs; and the top-selling Wal-Mart item? Bananas.

The Wal-Mart shopper is really everybody in America," says a company executive, offering a look into everybody's shopping cart. Americans love frozen foods and Pop-Tarts. Sales of acne products skyrocket at back-to-school time. People spend big bucks on their pets. And—no surprise here—the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year.