Brian Matos, communications director for the Chicago Young Republicans,<quoted text>
- There are 12 Costco locations within 30 miles of downtown Chicago. The average income across all 12 zip codes is $63,500 per person, per year. An average of 71% of the people who live in the zip codes are white while just 8% are black and 18.5% are Hispanic or Latino.
- There are 13 Sams Club locations in the same radius. The average income across those 13 zip codes was a third of Costco zip codes, just $26,200 per person, per year. In addition, three times as many black people and 38% more Hispanics live in Sams Club zip codes.
The comparison is more striking when examining Wal Mart zip codes:
There are 11 Wal Mart Supercenters or free standing, full service retail stores within 30 miles of downtown Chicago. The average income per person, per year in these zip codes is just $19,000. About 55% of residents of these zip codes are white, 26% black and 25% Hispanic. Also striking is that nearly 40% of people in Wal Mart zip codes rent rather than own their living space, suggesting an overall lower standard of living.
Walmart's zip code income stats are about to go lower. There are two Chicago super-centers planned to open this year. One will be in Hermosa, just west of Logan Square and another in the Pullman community. Once these open, the per person income averages I described above will plunge lower.
Also, worth noting is that I excluded Walmart Markets from the equation. These smaller mini marts occupy some of the poorest zip codes in Chicago including West Englewood. Two more are planned to open in Little Village and Back of the Yards this year. If included, these neighborhood markets would have also driven Walmart shoppers average income numbers much lower.
Whatever you think about Walmart and its practices, at least they don't have a corporate plan built around excluding low income communities and minorities from their establishments. If Costco dared to open more than one store in a lower income Chicagoland community, their entire local business model would implode within a year.