Thursday, November 22, 2007

JH Ethnic Retail part of healthy trend

Are Ethnic Shopping Strips Luring Suburban Customers?
By Sewell Chan, for the New York Times, November 13, 2007

Last weekend, thousands of South Asians from across the New York region descended on Jackson Heights, Queens, to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. The neighborhood’s central corridor, 74th Street, has become renowned as a Main Street for South Asian Americans, even though few Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis actually live there, according to Madhulika S. Khandelwal, a professor of urban studies at Queens College who directs the Asian American Center there.

“It has become an important cultural concentration, but only because of the businesses,” she is quoted as saying in a new report by the Center for an Urban Future. ...

The four-page report argues that “once-modest retail areas have evolved from primarily serving local customers into regional shopping districts that routinely attract large numbers of second and third generation immigrants from the suburbs who come to buy ... ethnic products.”

...ethnic retail strips have not only become gathering places for immigrants on weekends, but are also “facilitating the type of economic activity that all
cities covet: they attract people from outside the city to spend money here that otherwise probably would have been spent elsewhere.”
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