Commercial Chasm

Among seven retail categories examined, apparel retailers have the widest disparity in store locations, with 46 locations in white neighborhoods compared to six in black neighborhoods. In Lincoln Park alone, there are 16 major apparel retailers. While major grocers like Jewel and Dominick’s are found in many African American and Latino areas, there are more of those stores in mixed and white communities. Specialty grocers like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are only found in white neighborhoods. With such wide disparities in store locations, residents of black and Latino areas spend more of their money elsewhere. “Leakage” is the amount of consumer spending that exceeds retail sales for a given market. The map below shows the percentage of a neighborhood’s consumer dollars that are spent outside of the neighborhood. In 2004, there were 10 neighborhoods where leakage rates exceeded 75 percent—all of them were predominantly black.

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