Thursday, November 29, 2012

Los Angeles Times Article on Demographic Changes On Broadway Gets Story Right at the End

While the the start of the story says the owners of the Broadway/Spring Arcade Building going after 'young, hip' residents', the real story about why Broadway is changing is buried at the end of the Los Angeles Times article.

Arcade veterans like Balbuena and Azimi wonder about what all the changes will mean to them.

On this Sunday afternoon, they go through their familiar routines, checking through the week's receipts hoping for a big day of sales. But things are quiet once again.

Shopper Jackelin Panuco, 17, walks past with her younger brother Raul. Years before, she says, her mother would bring her to the arcade to buy toys and dresses.

But this afternoon nothing catches her eye. Balbuena's electronics store doesn't have the iPod she wants.

"There's not really much to find here anymore, and it's not busy," she says as she walks out to Spring Street. "I think we're going to look somewhere else."

The non-resident teenage Latina whose mother used to bring her and her brother there to shop now says she longer finds what she needs in the stores she used to patronize.  The generation that supported the existing stores is being replaced by a younger American born generation; a generation that is looking for a shopping experience that meets their needs.

The lack of customers in the older stores is not an example of an existing demographic being pushed aside for the younger and cooler residents.  It instead demonstrates how a new generation of Latino shoppers now expects a shopping and dining experience that meets their needs - and not the needs of their parents and grand-parents.

One trend which might have been added to the story is how increasing numbers of existing store owners are now revamping what they are offering so they can bring back the generation that has been leaving Broadway as well as service the new resident population.

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