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It's official: gay and lesbian dollars are fueling the U.S. retail economy, Nielsen reports on where

The Nielsen Company, the consumer global information and measurement organization, released their findings on how the LGBT community spends money in the marketplace.

They implore retailers to take notice of gay and lesbian shoppers because the percentage of money spent in retail venues surpasses that being spent by non-LGBT consumers.

The Nielsen research team gathered data from around the United States and discovered that LGBT shoppers make ten percent more trips to the cash register than straight people.

They also found that LGBT shoppers opened their wallets to spend $4,135 on average in retail stores in 2014. That’s seven percent more than non-LGBT consumers.

Nielsen broke down the numbers and calculated exactly where LGBT shoppers are spending the most. The results show that specialty retailers come out on top with 72% more money being spent in bookstores. LGBT consumers made twice as many trips to literary retailers than non-LGBT spenders.

Although it appears that gay shoppers are avid readers, they are also avid drinkers. Second in the spending trend are liquor stores, accounting for the next highest payout with 55% over straight people.

According to the data gathered by Nielsen, LGBT people are more likely to patronize neighborhood all-in-one stores over health food shops: Convenience stores 35%, Pet stores 32%, electronic stores 28%, and health food stores 19%.

However, there are places that LGBT consumers are less likely to shop:

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It is also important to understand exactly what LGBT shoppers are buying. The data seems to coincide with other statistics; the community spends 48% more on wine than non-LGBT households, and 43% more on technology.

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On-line shopping is also a thriving LGBT market. Each year gays and lesbians purchase 35% more online than their straight counterparts.

Popular LGBT on-line items are snacks at 122% over non-LGBT, and household cleaners at 73%. Rounding out the list of keyboard driven purchases are coffee (69%) and medication (67%).

Nielsen thinks that their results and percentages are very important to marketing executives and advertising agencies.

“The LGBT community is a significant contributor to the U.S. economy, and savvy retailers should plan their shelf space accordingly,” their website states. “And by knowing what this group is looking for and how much of it they’re buying, retailers and manufacturers will be better equipped to develop and promote products that meet its needs and desires.”

Timothy Rawles is Community Editor of SDGLN. He can be reached at editor@sdgln.com, @reporter66 on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to 888-442-9639, ext. 713.