Danville residents may be some of the best-dressed people in the country, according to a study published in the Wall Street Journal.
The town ranked number one on a list of the forecast top 10 U.S. cities by spending on clothing per capita. The list, broken down by zip code, includes four other Bay Area cities -- Los Gatos, which placed second; Los Altos in third; Saratoga in sixth place and Santa Clara in eighth place.
Danville, which is forecasted to spend $38.3 million on apparel for men, women and children in 2011, will spend $2,026.56 per person in its approximately 19,000 households.
Maine-based Pinpoint Demographics collected this data by using the U.S. Census' Consumer Expenditure Survey in conjunction with Census data on zip codes and median household income. Danville's median household income is $128,810, compared with $77,838 in Contra Costa County and $60,392 in the rest of the state.
"(Residents are) willing to spend a little bit more because they have the resources to do so, more than the national average," said Jill Bergman, Danville's economic development manager. "We could probably see the same households spending a disproportionate amount on education."
Adding to Danville's likelihood to spend hard-earned dollars on new duds is a lower unemployment rate -- just below six percent, compared to almost 12 percent in California -- and a lower store vacancy rate than the rest of the San Ramon Valley.
Michelle Stone, owner of Twenty-One Tango on Hartz Avenue, said the statistics blew her away as 2011 has been the worst year for sales in 10 years of business.
"We're definitely down in traffic. I think because of the economy and weather, people weren't spending as freely and were done after Christmas," she said.
Danville received nearly half of their sales tax revenue from general retail through the third quarter of 2010 but only captured 35 percent of said revenue from clothing stores. The resulting retail leakage goes to bigger box stores in Walnut Creek, Blackhawk and Pleasanton.
"This is a bedroom community and it was never designedÂ…to be conducive to high retail in neighboring jurisdictions. We're not going to be able to supply everything, but we do have a really rich variety," Bergman said.
But Pinpoint's research focuses on the 94506 zip code, which is primarily the east side of Danville and Blackhawk, where the average income in 2000 was $133,858.
According to data from CenterCal Properties, the company that owns Blackhawk Plaza, consumers within a five mile radius will spend over $186 million on clothes annually, or $435 a month -- a number much higher than many of their other properties.
Danville also ranked in the top ten for spending on audio/visual equipment, further indicating that residents have more discretionary income than their Bay Area brethren.