Field Notes: Estimate Retail Market Demand

Isaac Kremer/ April 8, 2023/ Economic, Field Notes/ 0 comments

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX) to estimate retail market demand, based on the current household demographic characteristics. There are a number of expenditure categories in the CEX that can be omitted from the estimate, as these are atypical (e.g., funerary services).

This example demonstrates how to calculate market demand for Metuchen, New Jersey in 2017.

Average Household Income $112,971
–          Groceries $3,757
–          Restaurant meals $2,564
–          Furniture and home furnishings $1,327
–          Housekeeping supplies $596
–          Apparel and apparel-related services $1,482
–          Health care (not including health insurance) $1,312
–          Entertainment $2,548
–          Personal care products and services $542
–          Reading materials $90

Total $14,218

This note is based on guidance from Kennedy Smith, Institute for Local Self Reliance. I encourage you to calculate your retail market demand and be able to share the breakout by category with existing businesses and prospects.

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About Isaac Kremer

A nationally recognized downtown revitalization leader, downtowns Isaac managed achieved $350 million of investment, 1,300 jobs created, and were 2X Great American Main Street Award Semifinalist and a 1X GAMSA winner in 2023. His work has been featured in Newsday, NJBIZ, ROI-NJ, TapInto, and USA Today. Isaac is a Main Street America Revitalization Professional (MSARP) with additional certifications from the National Parks Service, Project for Public Spaces, and the National Development Council.

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