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Nearly Every American Spent Money at Wal-Mart Last Year

When it comes to where Americans like to shop, one thing is immediately clear: They're after value.

According to new data from the NPD Group's Checkout Tracking Service, the largest percentage of Americans spent money at Walmart, McDonald's, and Target last year.

A family shops at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Springdale
A family shops at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Springdale, Arkansas. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Some 95 percent of U.S. consumers shopped at one of Walmart's 4,700 stores or on its website in 2016, according to NPD. It was followed by McDonald's at 89 percent and Target at 84 percent. That means more than 5 in 6 U.S. shoppers made a purchase at those chains.

Among retailers, Dollar Tree recorded the biggest gains from 2015. It opened nearly 600 stores under that name last year. Chick-fil-A, which is also in expansion mode, was the biggest gainer among restaurants.

Despite accounting for more than half of the growth in online spending last year, Amazon barely squeaked into the top 20. Some 42 percent of consumers spent money on Amazon, according to NPD.

Amazon tends to attract a higher-income shopper than Walmart, though the expansion of its subscription Prime program to a broader swath of the population has lowered its shoppers' average income.

Walmart's place at the top of the list shouldn't come as much of a surprise, given its U.S. division rang up an industry-leading $307.8 billion in revenue last year.

NPD's data, collected in collaboration with Slice Intelligence, was pulled from the receipts of more than 4 million shoppers.