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South, East LA Have More Bucks Than Retailers Think

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South and East LA have long been short-changed when it comes to adequate retail like grocery stores and pharmacies, with major retail chains branding these areas too destitute to support business. But that's not true, the Los Angeles Times' Sam Quinones reports, citing a new study of Watts, Boyle Heights, Hyde Park, West Adams, Crenshaw/Baldwin Village, Vernon Central, Central City East, Jefferson Park, and Leimert Park that says these neighborhoods have almost two billion dollars more in spending power than the US Census previously estimated. Using barometers like IRS returns, mortgage payments, and tax assessments, the study revealed a cluster of money that is being spent elsewhere because of a lack of amenities; Quinones talks to one woman who takes three buses to get to a drug store. The good news: a Macy's opened on Crenshaw Boulevard, and Fresh & Easy recently opened a Compton store and broke ground on another in South LA. Kinda makes Trader Joe's, which won't even dip its toes in Echo Park or Downtown, but will soon have three stores in West Hollywood, look bad. [Pictured: the February opening of Compton's Fresh & Easy]
· Buying power in nine LA neighborhoods [LA Times]