Retail follows the money

06 Sep Retail follows the money

With the outburst of opposition by Lady’s and St. Helena Island residents to the new Lady’s Island Walmart and proposed Harris Teeter, I have been thinking - with my former commercial real estate broker hat on - why the islands?

The conclusion is quite simple.  Retailers follow the roof tops and disposable incomes which are growing handily on the islands while the city’s population has stayed level in the past few years.  Furthermore, city residents are classified as moderate to low income by the Bureau of the Census while earnings are considerably higher by those on the islands.

While Charleston is very different from Beaufort, I think lessons can be learned by their history.  Note the news story below about how another food store is leaving downtown Charleston.  While the differences are very significant, the events are similar.

I am always wondering about the why as we try to rebuild the vibrant greater downtown we once had in the past.

Bi-Lo’s departure to leave grocery gap on Charleston peninsula