Danville residents spend more money on clothes than rest of U.S.

Residents will spend $2,026.56 on clothes in 2011

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 designed…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.


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Posted by Danville Retail Owner
a resident of Danville
on Mar 24, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Also quite shocked to see this article the other day. And agree with Michelle Stone regarding the sales climate in Danville.

We are all relatively tight knit, and I can attest that 2011 is absolutely horrible, and 2010 wasn't much better. This is pretty much the same tune across the board with Danville apparel retailers. Unless you're giving it away for 50-80% off, local residents simply aren't buying.

I would be fascinated to see the depth of the article and where and how they compiled their stats. Very surprised that towns like Newport Beach, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, and San Francisco weren't on this list out of California towns.

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Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2011 at 7:15 am

I can't find this online, where is the link from the Wall Street Journal?

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Posted by Frieckles
a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2011 at 9:21 am

Not something to be proud of. I guess we have not taken to heart that beauty is only skin deep. I would rather see that we were known to be the community that donates more money , more time to charities than anywhere else. Hmmm...sad.

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Posted by Girl Next Door
a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2011 at 9:42 am

May I respectfully suggest that the survey focus on 94526. The results would be much different. I agree with the comments on business being down. Danville deserves to be beter known for volunteering and community activity not for conspicuous spending.

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Posted by Danville Retailer
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 25, 2011 at 9:46 am

Man...that's a lot of Juicy Tracksuits and $70 tee-shirts

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Posted by Hal, CDSI Research Fellowship
a resident of another community
on Mar 25, 2011 at 10:30 am

Dear Dolores,

Here is the information that illustrates the background of WSJ selective report on buying habits. The data, according to WSJ contacts, was selected by ZIP codes and then ranked by total sales reported. It is not a complete study beyond the selected ZIP codes.

Pinpoint Demographics, a division of Barnes Reports, employs a proprietary economic model using exponential regression analysis to estimate consumer spending in every U.S. zip code and broken down by food and beverages, restaurants, housing, energy, household supplies and furnishings, personal services, entertainment, apparel, cars and transportation, healthcare, insurance, and education.

If readers have further questions, their contact is:

Pinpoint Demographics
168 Stagecoach Rd.
Woolwich , ME 04579
Phone: 207-449-1650 207-449-1650


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Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2011 at 10:52 am

I'm initially suspicious of the reports methods and conclusions derived therefrom.

I also am surprised that parts of Beverly Hills, Hollywood and New York zip codes wouldn't top Danville.
Do you see that many fur coats or designer gowns walking around? That's a lot of socks!

Or maybe NorCal (with four cities in the Top 10) is being charged too much for clothing!

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Posted by TOBY YOSH
a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2011 at 11:25 am

I wish danville was number 1# in money donated to all charities per capitol per our population. i know the station thrift shop downtown danville gets wonderful donations for reuse. i guess u can manipulate any numbers...

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Posted by Hal, ROFL
a resident of Alamo
on Mar 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm

REF: ''

Dear Stacy and Clinton,

Here’s a challenge! Many of us in neighboring Alamo would like to nominate the entire town of Danville California to be featured on What not to wear. Seriously!

Hal (ROFL)

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Posted by sassy soccer mom
a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I find this utterly embarrassing to be associated with this ranking, as a Danville resident. Diablo Magazine, this month, has an entire article titled: Boom, Bust,Bargain which states that a third of the home sales in Black Hawk last year were distress sales, and how the next wave of under water and foreclosure sales is about to hit the market, and nose-dive the average home sale prices even more.

I guess being fashion forward in your designer duds, warrants more spending money than having the pride of ownership and accomplishment of paying for what you actually need, your home, instead of wanting, your appearance.

There are going to be some rather fashionable homeless folks out there, but hey, it's not how you live, but how you look.

I am so glad I am in the 94526 zip, where real people spend real money, and can sit back and enjoy the comforts of a home they can afford to live in!

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Posted by From LA
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 25, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Always found it funny how so many folks on the "westside" were ironically far more arrogant and snooty than the people in Blackhawk. You generally don't hear of Blackhawk residents talking like that in regards to westsiders. Not sure what happened to the laid back Danville.

Makes me want to be back in LA where people are far less judgmental and more laid back....or at least you know what you're gonna get there.

Bottom line...very few people here have TRUE WEALTH, but nearly everyone thinks they're rich and entitled to everything.

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Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Mar 26, 2011 at 9:31 am

The flaw in the logic of your first sentence Jessica, is that "spending more means the buyers are better dressed". Judging by the hideous apparel of the soccer moms waitng on their kids at our nearby school (the dads seem to do better), I can attest to just how wrong you are.
Money, dear Jessica, does not by good taste and it never will. What it buys is higher degrees of "shallowness".

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Posted by GMA
a resident of Alamo
on Mar 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Am I missing something? I didn't find that the $$ were spent in Danville, just that the residents of one zip code spent more. Maybe they make their purchases online or in other cities. Just wondering .. GMA

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Posted by collins
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I invite everyone to visit the Danville town offices and notice the map on the wall. It is of Danville, 94526. There is no map of Blackhawk. It is an unincorporated part of Danville. My husband has suggested that a new story should be written, "A Tale of Two Zip Codes".

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Posted by Dot
a resident of Danville
on Mar 27, 2011 at 8:02 am

It's just not true. It's a study, and it happened to get itself published in the Wall Street Journal. Don't you wonder who funded the study?

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Posted by Sunny
a resident of Danville
on Mar 28, 2011 at 9:18 am

I totally agree with Frieckles!
How Shallow!

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Posted by C.O. Jones
a resident of Danville
on Mar 28, 2011 at 9:49 am

Dear Hal,

What do you do all day? Besides this, I mean.

Chesterfield Ollie Jones

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Posted by Lili
a resident of Alamo
on Mar 28, 2011 at 10:30 am

Why does everyone just love to generalize about Danville? There are soccer moms who dress like teenagers, and soccer moms who dress appropriately for their age. A lot of us give a lot of money and time to charity, and there are lots of families who don't.
Danville's kids do a lot of community service; perhaps at the top of the list for the nation. That's not what this study was about, so don't feel ashamed. Every day we see Danville kids earning an Eagle Scout award or going to State Finals for some achievement. A lot of these parents grew up poor and worked their butts off to get where they are today (my family as well). Maybe they dressed poorly in school and felt bad about themselves, and now that they have means they want to feel good. If people choose to waste a ton of money on clothes, that's their prerogative. Be proud that we are doing great academically, have low crime, and an electronic newspaper that lets us discuss these issues as adults (even if some posters make it their whole life, but that's a whole other issue).

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Posted by 747 Ball
a resident of another community
on Mar 28, 2011 at 10:35 am

Spending a lot on clothes does not mean they are best dressed. They just have money to buy clothes.

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Posted by mirandamomma
a resident of Alamo
on Mar 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Did anyone see that on 7? They were interviewing a lady in a consignment shop. Also, she was in a no name sweat shirt...go figure!

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Posted by ck
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 29, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Dear Sassy Soccer Mom, Ouch! Your comments are pretty judgemental. You sound a little bitter considering you don't know all of us here in Blackhawk. If you did, you might have a nicer opinion of us.

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Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 29, 2011 at 8:59 pm

jrm is a registered user.

I am so amused by all of this thread...I must say, you all are a hoot. Good people in Japan are surviving on a bowl of rice and one piece of tuna each day right now knowing their families are gone and their homes are wiped out. Their water is non existent, and we are talking about 94506 vs. 94526....and clothes. In my opinion you all need to take a breath and count your blessings...we all live together in a beautiful little valley. I am reminded in my past life with the San Ramon Valley T-Birds football team, and we would roll into Antioch, Pittsburgh or San Leandro in our gleaming SUV's with our beautiful white families and our teams would dress in the locker rooms of these run down schools and my kids finally got a glimpse of the way much of rest of the Bay Area actually lived. It was the best lesson my kids got in terms of being humble and grateful. It was actually the only exposure they got out of "The Bubble" they only knew. T-Birds was great for this, we met parents on the opposing side, and they got to know us, we were leaders on the team and had a chance work in the snack shack for 6 hours at a time, count players on the sideline, or exchange gifts with opposing cheeleading teams. My kids learned a lot. It was great. The more youth sports gets our kids out of the Valley the better off they are.

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Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Mar 31, 2011 at 10:19 am

Wow, I have lived in Danville my entire life (I am only 18 years old), and I never knew that people actually thought people from the other area code were snooty or distasteful, etc. I have plenty of friends in both blackhawk and danville, and I dont really see a difference between them. I find the fact that Danville residents would talk crap about each other MUCH more embarrassing than the fact that we spend money on clothes!

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Posted by Stop complaining
a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Whoever is ashamed to come from Danville because of this report or thinks it means that everyone there is shallow is obviously just as shallow. Hasn't anyone ever heard don't judge a book by its cover? Even if that cover is a new Dior purse and Juicy jacket or second hand clothes from their older sibling- why so judgmental everyone?

Taking these numbers (true, quite high numbers) and completely stereotyping is in itself a shallow undertaking. Yes, that number spent on clothes is crazy high, but before you judge Danville residents for being shallow, how about seeing a report with numbers of how much they give away and how much community service they do. People are assuming that because the residents buy clothes that is all they are good for. While I agree that it is a lot of money spent on clothes, people in Danville on average tend to have a lot more disposable income then many other cities. Claiming to be "happy to be from the other zip code in Danville" is pretty dumb. You live in Danville too. Let's be honest, it is not a poor city, no matter which zip code you are referencing.

The people in Danville earn their money just like everybody else and have a right to do with it what they want. I would hope that if a report was done, it showed just how giving Danville residents were as well. Clothing is only one piece of the pie, there are many other things they may be doing with their money that this particular study did not highlight. I'm just saying, anyone who judged the "shallowness" of people in Danville based on this article is just as shallow.

As a side note, I grew up in Danville and everyday I went to the fashion show I like to call high school. I never wore high heels to school unlike many, I never had the nicest clothes there, I have never owned 10 pairs of designer jeans (in fact I've never owned one pair). But I have never resented those that do. Grow up people.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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