“Like many Bronxites, borough president Rubén Díaz Jr. was disappointed when the Yankees lost to the Astros in this year’s playoffs. The reason extends beyond his own fanhood: One of the most significant images of the Bronx came from the 1977 World Series, when a camera looking down on Yankee Stadium captured a building that was on fire. The scene stigmatized the borough, which was experiencing a spate of arson among other symptoms of poverty. Today, crime in the Bronx is at an all-time low, billions of dollars are being invested in real estate development, and its population is growing. The last time the Yankees were in the World Series was 2009, and Díaz Jr. believes another one would give the borough a chance to showcase its recent prosperity,” Brian Josephs writes for The Outline. “Maybe then it could even get an Apple Store.”
“New York’s northernmost borough is the city’s most diverse, has the lowest income per household, and is the only borough without an Apple Store after one opened up in Brooklyn’s predominantly white neighborhood of Williamsburg last year,” Josephs writes. “This trend holds true on a national scale. That means 251 of the 270 stores, or 93 percent, are located in majority-white ZIP codes. Of the 19 that are not located in majority-white ZIP codes, eight are in ZIP codes where whites are still the largest racial bloc.”
“For context, Garden City, New York, a city with a population of around 22,000 that is 94 percent white, has an Apple Store,” Josephs writes. “Lake Grove, New York, which has a population of around 11,000 and is 89 percent white, has an Apple Store. By comparison, nearly 1.5 million people live in the densely-packed Bronx, which is only 21 percent white.”
MacDailyNews Take: Sheer population numbers don’t dictate where retailers go. Retailers go where the demographics (read: disposable income and the proven will to spend it) lead.
There’s not an Apple Store in Athens, Ohio where 84.7% of the population of 23,832 is white, 6.1% is asian, 4.3% is black, and 2.4 is hispanic, but the median income for a household is $17,122. The nearest store is an hour and a half away in Columbus, Ohio which, according to the 2010 U.S. Census is 61.5% white, 28.0% black, 5.6% hispanic, and 4.1% asian, but the median income for a household is $37,897. In other words: One location (38.5% non-white) is capable of supporting an Apple Retail Store (two stores, in fact) and the other location (15.3% non-white) is not.
The median income for a household in Garden City, New York is $112,854. In Lake Grove, NY it’s $67,174. In the Bronx, it’s $34,299. (Don’t make the mistake of comparing Columbus, OH median income with that of the Bronx. The cost of living between each place differs greatly.)
Skin color is not part of the equation.
“Apple told me it couldn’t comment on the record about what criteria it uses to decide where new stores are built or the demographics of its stores’ neighborhoods, but USC Marshall School of Business professor Ira Kalb reasoned that the company is ‘going after the high-end of the market, so their store location choices typically go after areas that are considered upscale,'” Josephs writes. “Thus, it’s likely that the racial disparity is a consequence of locating stores in wealthier neighborhoods — note how there’s no Whole Foods in the Bronx either. Apple Store neighborhoods have a median household income of about $73,475 per year; black American households earn a median average of $38,555, according to the ACS estimate for 2016. The median household income in the Bronx is $34,299.”
Josephs writes, “Aiming for consumers with more disposable income isn’t at all a new strategy, but Apple has made a point to emphasize its commitment to diversity…”
MacDailyNews Take: Yes, in hiring. Not in locating retail stores.
“Last year, Díaz signed a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook urging the company to build a store in his borough: ‘Few brands are as recognized and admired as Apple, and an ‘Apple Bronx’ location would be another signal to the world that the Bronx is open for business,'” Josephs writes. “Díaz said he’s yet to receive a response.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple only wants to put its stores where people with disposable income live.
Running to the media to play the race card likely isn’t the best method to attract Apple to invest in your community, Mr. Borough President. You’ll probably never hear from Apple CEO Tim Cook now.
If you want Apple to invest in your community, then attract employers, spur continuing education, and do whatever it takes to increase the median income to the point where it can support an Apple location profitably. Apple isn’t a charity. It’s a for-profit enterprise. It doesn’t exist to build stores in order to send a signal to the world about your area.