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Survey Results: The Shopping Habits of Altadena Residents

The results of a Chamber of Commerce survey show a lot of desire for more retail in Altadena

The results of an Altadena Chamber of Commerce survey on shopping in Altadena was released Friday.  The full survey results can be found on surveyaltadena.com or attached to this story.

The and what to do about it are, of course, a of on this site.

Though the survey provides useful information for retailers, it was not done with a professional firm to ensure that an accurate cross-section of Altadena was surveyed.  For example, the survey was online only, so those without Internet access were not involved. 

It was not also done to accurately reflect the demographics or geography of Altadena, as entrants were not selected based on where they lived or any other characteristics.  The survey ended up being taken overwhelmingly by women, with 254 of the 385 survey takers identifying themselves as such (28 declined to state).

Nearly 80 percent identified their household income as being $86,000 or above.

There were also relatively few people under the age of 35 or over the age of 64 who took the survey.

That said, the results are very interesting, though probably not surprising for most people.

Among the findings:

  • Almost three quarters of those surveyed (74.8 percent) said they shop in Altadena either one to two times a week or less than one time a week.
  • Trader Joe's at Hastings Ranch was the most popular grocery store
  • 92 percent said Altadena does not offer enough retail businesses
  • The most requested additional type of retail business was restaurant, with grocery, coffee house, books, and entertainment also showing a lot of popularity
  • People surveyed are not avoiding Altadena restaurants because they don't eat out: 82.9 percent said they eat out two to three times a week.
  • The number one reason people give for not shopping in Altadena is the lack of choices, and the second is the availability of goods.
  • Most surveyed don't seek out professional services in Altadena, with the notable exception of veterinarian.
  • There is not an aversion to shopping at chains for those surveyed: 74.6 percent said they mostly shop at brand name stores.

In addition, Chamber representative Ed Meyer has a up on the site about the survey, and over on the Altadenablog, Laura Monteros has an article about the presentation of the results on Thursday evening.

Steve Lamb May 29, 2011 at 08:07 PM
No Its clear because of TJ's internal surveys. Truthfully I havnt seen one thats newer than four years, but I did see last years for Ralph's and they show like TJ's have for a decade, more Altadena grocery shoppers in la Canada than anywhere in Pasadena, so if you have a survey that shows more Hastings shoppers, you have a survey made up almost entirely of people east of lake, since the supermarkets have it all broken down by extended zip code. I won't even compare the much more extensive West Altadena survey that was conducted by five people over a three month time a few years ago, because well, it won't matter. The real problem here, however, isn't if there is enough demand or money, in Altadena. Most of corporate America knows there is. Most of corporate America has invested in that demand locally in Pasadena stores and outlets. Pasadena is way over populated with such, especially for this era of downsizing. Most Pasadena and LaCanada outlets are getting at least 25% of their customer base from Altadenans, some of them as high as 65%. There are several reasons they prefer to stay in Pasadena and LaCanada:
Steve Lamb May 29, 2011 at 08:17 PM
what are those reasons?: 1. They already built the Pasadena/LaCanada store trained the people, staffed it and got Altadenans to shop it. Why damage the existing investment to gain customers they ALREADY HAVE? 2. The county permitting process is a pain in the toenails and very unfriendly for national and multinationals compared to Pasadena and LaCanada. 3. The Commercial Real Estate in Altadena is over valued. 4. The Parking regulations are more demanding in the County than in most cities- a major cost, and the process to do things like sidewalk dining is a maze compared even to Pasadena' 5. Outdated always untrue in the first place racial perceptions about Altadena that are legendary and just refuse to die. This is why small locally focused businesses make more sense, its not a losing game for them to get Altadena customers, because every customer they have is a NEW one. They have no idea that it's easier to do business someplace else, and if the small business owner for whom the business is a personal expression loves Altadena, they may not even care. There are still some problems. Biggest for any business attempting to locate into Altadena and stay the long haul is the County parking regulations and the unrealistic prices of both rent and purchase of commercial real estate here.
Steve Lamb May 29, 2011 at 08:25 PM
But I only spent a decade studying this and talking to all kinds of corporations, so what do I know? Want to know why Fresh and Easy is not going to survive? It's not as some analysts say because they located many stores in minority areas. It's not as many other analysts say because Americans are not used to the small footprint. it's because they didn't understand the psychological code in America. They identified their brand and built their stores as "Small and complete". They failed to understand that in America there is a psychological code for "Small store". The code says a small store PROVIDES HIGH CUSTOMER SERVICE. This small store provides less than average customer service and operates almost as a warehouse store. It was the first local chain to "offer" self check out. It doesn't have prices as low as a warehouse. If the British either lower their prices or improve the customer service considerably at Fresh and Easy they will survive, if not they will continue to lose money on them till that's not affordable anymore. But man a small market chain with customer service even without discount prices would be a home run.....
Angela Odom May 29, 2011 at 08:53 PM
Well, to be honest, I drive from West Altadena into Hastings Ranch/Pasadena/Sierra Madre for a number of reasons. One, is the Farmers' Market on Saturday morning where I do most of my shopping. From there I'll head over to the TJ's in Hastings Ranch, Whole Foods or Sprouts for anything else I may need. The other reason is Best Buy. I'm typically there one or two times a week. Again, from there I'll visit the aforementioned stores and/or Ross, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Starbucks. I typically shop in that area or Whole Foods & Granny's Pantry on Arroyo in Pasadena. The good news is I've given up on Petco and Petsmart and do 100% of my pet shopping at Steve's Pets and since discovering Oh Happy Day, I shop there for organics.
Bob Conley May 30, 2011 at 09:11 PM
The only reason Altadena doesn't have more stores is because the small population and traffic patterns prevent those stores from generating enough income to cover the cost of opening and running such stores. It is just that simple

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