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Attention Advertisers: Radio’s Biggest Listeners Are Anxious To Start Spending Again.

Target, Macy’s and Home Depot are among the retailers that reported strong earnings in recent days as the pandemic’s impact fades and Americans start spending money beyond the supermarket checkout aisle. A new survey suggests there is a good reason for retailers looking to capture some of those dollars to place their ads on radio.

Katz Media Group analyzed the data in the April wave of the latest MRI-Simmons COVID-19 Consumer Insights Study and discovered that radio's biggest fans are more likely than the average person to have started to resume or reschedule a postponed purchase. The data shows those who describe themselves as heavy radio users are ten percent more likely to have already made decisions on buying a home, a car or truck, and investing in the stock market. They are also 13% more likely to pull the trigger on home renovations and 16% more likely to resume business travel. Looking into the near future, heavy radio listeners are 19% more likely to purchase a car or truck and 13% more likely to invest in stocks in the next one to five months.

“Heavy radio listeners are more engaged in consumer activities than the average American, making them important players in local economic recovery as more business sectors reopen and rebound,” said Katz in an update to clients.

The government says April retail sales were nearly as strong as in March when stimulus checks led many to head to the shopping mall. The U.S. Census Bureau said overall retail sales in April were unchanged seasonally adjusted from March but up 51% year-over-year.

“The economy and consumer spending have proven to be much more resilient than many feared a year ago,” said Jack Kleinhenz, Chief Economist at the National Retail Federation.

At TJX – the parent of stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls – CEO Ernie Herrman said last week that business is getting back to its pre-pandemic pace. “We believe our apparel sales benefited from wardrobe refreshing as more consumers began resuming more normal activities,” he said. “Next is our focus on marketing to attract new shoppers, while staying top of mind with our existing customers.

Walmart said its growth was somewhat slower in first quarter as Americans did less stocking up on essentials, while Target said that it saw big gains. CEO Brian Cornell told analysts last week that apparel sales shot up more than 60% while Target had slower growth in food, beverages and essentials. “The first quarter felt like a first step towards a post-pandemic world,” he said.

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