How Chavvy is my supermarket?

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I had a crazy idea, and I was bored. Is there a correlation between what people wear and the demographic that visits particular supermarkets? Over the years I’ve heard loads of people describe ASDA as “chavvy” before, but is this definition merited?

To start with, I had to research, what exactly is “chavvy” – and it turns out that one of the biggest indicators is wearing of sports clothing when not doing sports. So that would be my primary indicator that I could really easily record.

I decided to start my investigations by sitting for 1 hour in the car-parks of each of the major supermarkets in my area and doing and old-school tally chart of clothing choices. I figured I would do 3 days, with 1 hour at each, and each day off-set by 1 supermarket so that I could get all 3 hours at each, does that make sense? This was my excel planner…

I duly went and sat in my car, the first hour was fine, the second less so, and by the third hour I was actually loosing my mind, and desperate for a rest stop somewhere. For days two and three I would remember that there must be no early morning coffee for me.

I gathered the stats and merged them all together. I should make you aware that I realise that this is a very small data-set. I should probably do this for weeks and weeks, and at all differing times of day. Ideally I would ensure that I never double-count, and I am sure there are minor errors in the data, particularly in ASDA as it has two doors, so there is a high possibility that people dressed differently could enter through the other doors, there could be an unwritten dress code rule that I am not aware of.

So, some interesting observations. Straight away it was clear that ASDA and Tesco get far higher foot-fall than Sainsburys. It gave me the idea that for a future experiment I should try to assess the volumes of shopping purchased, but that’s for a future moment of boredom..

The volume of tracksuit bottoms in ASDA was substantially higher than any other supermarket, in fact more than twice the others combined.

20% of visitors to Tesco wore tracksuit bottoms, compared to 36% of visitors to ASDA. Sainsburys came in last with only 4%.

18% of visitors to ASDA in the time I was monitoring wore sports wear or sports tops. This was a startlingly high statistic compared to Tesco at 2% and Sainsburys at 3%.

100% of visitors who wore shorts wore them to visit Sainsburys – but its March, and so its cold. That probably means only one crazy person – and perhaps unsurprisingly I knew the shorts wearer (it wasn’t me)!

Tesco had the highest percentage of people wearing jeans, with 66% of all visitors favouring denim. Sainsburys wasn’t far behind with 59%, and 41% of all visitors to ASDA.

The smartest dressed people shopped at Sainsburys. This could also be because of its location, near other shopping outlets, and many of the visitors appeared to be working and walking there from surrounding shops. It had both the highest proportion of people wearing suits or shirt & tie AND those wearing dresses or skirts. Also from an observational perspective, and without any actual facts to back it up, the demographic who visited Sainsburys seemed to be financially better off just in overall look and appearance. A future survey could also perhaps be to assess the cars in the car parks of the supermarkets.. As a further interesting observation, there are groups of people who shop in multiple supermarkets on the same day! I saw several people who did an entire shop at ASDA, but I had already seen them emerge from Sainsburys whilst I was there not 30 minutes before.

I will let your draw any other conclusions you may like from the stats, it was certainly an interesting exercise for me to undertake, and I did see some fantastic hair-cuts and very interesting family dynamics during the observations. On a personal safety note, if you are a child, you are way, way more likely to get clobbered by your parent(s) if you are visiting ASDA than either of the other two supermarkets. Keep your distance from the swinging arms, or perhaps just do as you are told a bit more quickly!

In conclusion, IF Chaviness is measured based on Tracksuit bottoms and sports wear (when not doing sports), then yes, you are most likely to meet such individuals at ASDA compared to the other two major supermarkets.

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