I have a semi-related question...
I rarely buy products at the "retailers" mentioned in these articles. I generally buy stuff directly from the producer.
In fact, I just spent $60 buying Sugru from their web site. It should be here Thursday or Friday.
Sugru is also available, and in stock, at the Target store that is 2 miles from my house.
But it would NEVER occur to me to purchase it at Target. I want to spend that money with the people who actually make the product. I realize this is true for many of the things I own... the Corbin seat on my motorcycle, the windshield on my motorcycle, my Ernie Ball guitar pedal, the Bongo bluetooth speaker, and my LSTN headphones, and my Native Union bamboo iPhone case.
Do I buy Hanes underwear from Target? No. I buy the Duluth Trading Company ones from their web site.
Etc, etc, etc.
Bear with me... I'm getting to the point...
Telephone polls are often quoted as the gospel about how the American public feels. However, telephone polls are ONLY conducted with houses with a landline. I cannot name a single friend of mine who owns a home, and has a landline. Therefore, nobody I know are represented in nationally-quoted phone polls.
THE POINT: Is it likely that MY retail purchases - and those retail purchases by other people like me - go completely unrecorded in these graphs you post?
How do they track Sugru's sales? Or Native Union? Or Duluth Trading Company?
Or are they simply polling Sears and Target and WalMart and extrapolating their numbers from these (flawed and incomplete) data sets?