Looking around the Berkeley campus we find them everywhere. Hanging out in a coffee shop with their MacBooks, on Memorial Glade with a pair of aviators and shoes off, on the steps of Wheeler hall reading or walking in exactly 10 minutes after the hour to their Literature / Art History / Film classes. Hipsters. Well, the population may be increasing due to hipster clothing being discounted to a fraction of the price. We may see Berkeley inching our way closer to the top of the “Most Hipster Campus” list. Feeling edgy? read more »
We’ve always loved Berkeley for its boutiques, Tibetan gift shops, and array of random stores and mom-and-pop shops, however it seems to be just these kinds of stores, or the lack of any other kind of store that is bringing the city down.
Not that we would trade them in for a Wal-Mart or anything but the fact is that in the past two years, retail sales have dropped by almost $200 million. Sadly, this means that a lot of the shops we’ve mentioned were forced to close down, according to the Office of Economic Development.
Because Berkeley city has created more boutique-type shopping districts instead of “big-box” stores a lot of Berkeley residents go to Emeryville or Oakland to buy electronics.
According to Dave Fogerty, the drop in sales activity translates into a $1.92 million drop in sales tax revenue to the city over a two-year period. In these difficult economic times, its sort of inevitable that people will be buying less stuff that they don’t really need — which is exactly the kind of stuff that Berkeley shops offer.