Altadena Chamber: 57 Percent Say They Want More National Brands

The Altadena Chamber of Commerce did a presentation on Altadena's issues with retail and discussed some interesting results from a consumer survey from last year.

At a presentation on the future of Altadena retail, Altadena Chamber of Commerce board members noted that a survey done by the chamber showed the 57.1 percent of respondents said they wanted more national brand stores in Altadena.

The presentation was given by board members Ed Meyers, Lori Webster, and Dan Harlow at Tuesday's Altadena Coalition of Neighborhood Associations meeting.

The question on national brands came in a question about what categories of retail people would want to see more of in Altadena - national brands, at 57.1 percent, came in second after restaurants at 77.2 percent.  

By contrast, only 45.9 percent said they wanted more independent stores, though in a separate question, 73.6 percent said they like supporting local businesses. The survey also had 92.4 percent of respondents saying Altadena does not offer enough retail.

Lori Webster, the owner of , also noted that while about 73 percent said they liked to support local business, 74.6 percent said they do most of their shopping at national chains.

The survey was done last year by the Altadena Chamber of Commerce - almost 400 people took the survey online.  The Chamber did note that the survey was not designed to be in line with Altadena demographics - significantly more women than men took the survey, and almost 20 percent of survey takers reported their household incomes as between $100,000 and $150,000.  Full survey results can be .

Ed Meyers also discussed the Chamber's concerns over parking restrictions - new businesses need to meet requirements on providing parking spaces for customers, a requirement Meyers said is often extremely difficult because there is limited parking available in town.  

The issue was also brought up during the Altadena Community Visioning process and Meyers noted that people who were surveyed about the visioning process noted parking requirements as an important issue for the county to deal with.

Another big issue was vacant properties and blight - the empty Blockbuster storefront on Lake Avenue, the vacant property next to Ralph's and the half-constructed building at Lincoln and Altadena were all mentioned as places that have not been well kept.  Increasing fines for not taking care of vacant properties was another issue raised in the visioning process.

Another point that was made at the meeting is that since Altadena is not packed with retail, people often assume there are no businesses or services in town at all.  Leslie Aitken, who owns a , was one of those who agreed with that sentiment.

Aitken noted that she sometimes has clients come up from Los Angeles or even San Diego for custom projects - she has a listing on Craigslist that people respond to, she said.  However, she said she does not think she is on the radar of Altadena customers.

"No matter how I advertise people don’t know I’m there and that is an issue," Aitken said.

Laura Monteros June 27, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I didn't know about Leslie's store! But my main comment here is about the "either-or": national brands or locally owned business. It is NOT either-or. Gas stations are national brands, but are operated by local business people and employee local workers. Some fast-food franchises are owned by locals, and some, like Everest, are chains but with a decidedly local feel. Grocery stores are not necessary national, but certainly not local, but a well-run chain can cater to local tastes, employ locals, and offer decent prices. "National" doesn't necessarily mean Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot. It can be a positive thing. It just depends on how they are run, by whom, and who they hire.
Ivan G July 01, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Being located next to a national-brand store could give local businesses increased visibility.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »