The Hipster Retail Index

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CNBC, for lack of Morning Call programming, is currently showing a documentary about everyone's favorite big box punching bag titled "The Age of Wal-Mart." As far as we're concerned, Target is Wal-Mart with better branding and packaging, but you'll never see an "Age of Target" documentary. Our theory is that anti-Wal-Mart sentiment has more to do with class warfare and perception than fundamentals and that the same is true of many companies.
So when we're not clear on where a company stands PR-wise, we go to one the more fashionable 'burbs of NYC and find ourselves a hipster (hipsters, above left) and ask them what they think about a particular company. Hipsters make for an interesting litmus test because they pride themselves on non-conformity but have fairly homogenous tastes and value systems. We can't decide if media perception is reflective of their value systems or they're simply reflecting mainstream media perceptions, but the correlation seems to be very high. The conversation always goes something like this:
DealBreaker: Would you ever, under any circumstances, set foot in a Wal-Mart?
Hipster: (Glaring) Are you fucking kidding me? If I wanted to be exploited, I'd move to, like, the Bronx or something. Wait. Are you wearing Brooks Brothers? Like, unironically?
DB: Uh, okay. What about Target?
Hipster: (Glances around to see if other hipsters are within earshot). Yeah, sure. I got some rad socks there last week. I'm going to wear them as gloves.
DB: Right. Moving on. What you consider the fundamental difference between Wal-Mart and Target?
Hipster:... You know what? I'm not going to answer your little bourgeois questions. Get out of my borough, yuppie.
DB: How about Exxon?
Hipster: Fuck off.
The Age of Wal-Mart [CNBC]

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