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Posted at 12:56 PM ET, 11/18/2010

Wal-Mart and the District's retail divide

By Mike DeBonis

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.

By Mike DeBonis  | November 18, 2010; 12:56 PM ET
Categories:  The District  
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What was the methodology of the poll? How many were questioned?

Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | November 18, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

100% of my household would kill for a Wegmans.

Posted by: 20009matt | November 18, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

What makes this worth reporting?

Posted by: RachelWT | November 18, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

yo i LUVVVV wegmans

Posted by: FormerUpstater | November 18, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Economics, not race is the deciding factor. If the survey was taken in Trailer Park USA, 99% of the White population wouldn't know the difference between Trader Joe and Joe the Plumber.

Posted by: GoldCoast | November 19, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

"What makes this worth reporting?"

What makes it worth commenting on and adding nothing?

It think it's fascinating, personally.

Posted by: jamietre | November 19, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

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