The influx of big-store retailers in D.C. is apparent to most residents. There are the two Wal-Marts and more scheduled to open throughout the city, the flush of high-end, brand-name stores in CityCenterDC, and a boom of new grocery stores, such as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s.
But just how fast are these retailers displacing local mom-and-pop shops? The answer, according to District, Measured — a blog from the District’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer — is at a speed that outpaces the rest of the nation.
Between 1998 and 2012, the District has had a 50 percent increase in stores with 250 or more employees. Nationwide, there was a 20 percent bump in those types of large businesses. During those years, the city saw a 24 percent decline in stores with five to nine employees. The country saw a 9 percent dip in those small shops.
Still, the CFO’s office notes, small stores with fewer than 20 employees still comprise about 85 percent of retail in the city, although those numbers are quickly declining.
The presence of big-box retailers in the District had once been relatively scarce, so these figures may just be showing the city catching up to the rest of the nation.
Take a look:
District, Measured, which culled this data from the U.S. Census Bureau, also examined the types of stores the city is losing and the kinds that are replacing them. Between 1998 to 2012, the District saw a nearly 50 percent increase in the number of convenience stores. On the other hand, the city lost 44 percent of its sporting goods and hobby stores, 42 percent of its florists and 70 percent of its meat markets.
Steven Giachetti, the director of revenue estimation for the CFO’s office, wrote that he predicts that “there will soon be a saturation point and consumers will want a more varied retail landscape.”