LGBT Families Shop More, Spend More

Online, bookstores, and pet shops — yes. Dollar stores — not so much.

New research shows that gay families outspend average American families, with a combined buying power of $884 billion. (National Journal)

Advertisers may want to start paying more attention to their gay, lesbian, and transgender customers. Last year, they had a combined buying power of $884 billion.

That's not all. LGBT families are shopping more — and spending more — than average Americans.

Not only do LGBT households make 10 percent more shopping trips per year, they actually spend more during each visit, according to a Nielsen consumer report released this month.

LGBT families are more likely than straight families to spend money at bookstores, liquor stores, electronic stores, pet stores, and health-food stores. Here's the breakdown:

  • Bookstores: 72%
  • Liquor stores: 55%
  • Convenience stores: 35%
  • Pet stores: 32%
  • Electronic stores: 28%
  • Health food stores: 19%

But what are they actually buying so much more of? Apparently, wine. Lot's of it.

  • Wine: 48%
  • Computers and other electronics: 43%
  • Liquor: 35%
  • Shaving needs: 32%
  • Men's toiletries: 32%
  • Candles/incense: 31%

There are some places LGBT families really don't like to shop, like dollar stores, department stores, and toy stores.

When it comes to online shopping, gay and lesbian families spend 35 percent more each year than other households. The stuff they like to buy more of, compared with straight families, are snacks, household cleaners, coffee, and medications.

Researchers say this data should help manufacturers and retailers prioritize their gay customers.

"The LGBT community is a significant contributor to the U.S. economy, and savvy retailers should plan their shelf space accordingly," the report says.

Whether or not advertisers will show more LGBT families in commercials, well, that's another story. In the last two years, more and more retailers have begun featuring same-sex couples in their advertisements. Ikea, JC Penney, and Amazon are just a few.