Wal-Mart and the District's retail divide
As part of its preparation for building a store in Washington, Wal-Mart polled 800 D.C. residents on their shopping desires earlier this month.
Not surprisingly, given the poll's provenance, it showed high levels of support for Wal-Mart, with 73 percent of residents approving of the mega retailer's entree. In Wards 7 and 8, that proportion rises to more than 90 percent.
But the survey -- done by pollster Ron Lester, who has worked for Mayor-elect Vincent Gray and many others -- also revealed racial and geographic gaps in D.C. residents' shopping preferences.
Poll respondents were asked an open-ended question: "If you had a wish list and could choose any store, which store would you like to see locate in your neighborhood or nearby?" Here's how they responded:
While 30 percent of black residents named Wal-Mart, only 3 percent of white residents did. The white residents most often named Wegmans (13 percent), Trader Joe's (12 percent) or Whole Foods (10 percent). Of six non-Wal-Mart options offered by poll respondents and included in the Wal-Mart report, black residents the next-most support, 7 percent, to Giant.
Also of note: While black residents named Wal-Mart much more often than Target, 30 percent to 3 percent, white residents preferred Target, 8 percent to 3 percent.
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