Despite Slowdown, Sales Grew Downtown In '08

By K.J. Williams | Archives
Downtown uptick Estimated retail sales to consumers within a 1/2 mile and within 1 mile of Market and Front streets.

Downtown businesses may have seen a drop-off in customers since late 2008, but as a whole, retail sales grew for the area’s hot spot, according to an industry report.

John Hinnant, executive director of Wilmington Downtown Inc., said the report was generated for his organization by ESRI, a company that analyzes data. Statistics were collected for retail trade and food and drink establishments.

The report shows that the number of businesses located within a half-mile radius of Market and Front streets, grew to 177 in 2008 from 130 in 2007. Altogether, retail sales for 2008 increased to $76.5 million from 2007’s $53.2 million, the report shows.

“We saw a $23.3 million increase in retail sales for calendar year 2008 over calendar year 2007,” Hinnant said. Forty-seven new businesses opened, 23 of which were retail trade and 24 for food and drink, he added, citing business license information from the city of Wilmington.

Hinnant said that 2007 was not downtown’s strongest year in recent memory. In 2006, retail sales totaled $62.7 million for 150 businesses in that half-mile radius, and for 2005, the figure was $73.4 million for 184 businesses. Last year’s retail sales, however, topped the last four years.

With a higher number of businesses in the mix for 2008, that meant the retail sales were divided among more businesses, he said.  “As the pie grew, so did the number of slices.”

“I’m still seeing interest in people wanting to be downtown,” he added, referring to prospective tenants. He attributed this to “the amenities and foot traffic” downtown offers, along with rents that are lower than in some shopping centers.

Hinnant said that downtown likely saw more tourists in 2008 because more rainy days brought people off the beach to downtown. Also, it marked the first year that PPD was at full occupancy at its headquarters.

Ico insights


Kellyerola headshot lcflc

Hospice Care in Nursing Homes Provides Needed Specialized Care

Kelly Erola - Lower Cape Fear LifeCare
Cfss headshots parker robert webversion 21422121214

Can an HOA Deny Solar Panels?

Robert Parker - Cape Fear Solar Systems

A Simple Approach To Difficult Conversations

Dane Scalise - GriffinEstep Benefit Group

Trending News

Galleria Property On Wrightsville Ave. Sold For $37.5M

Cece Nunn - Aug 10, 2022

Leland Town Center Lands New Tenant; Lowe’s Begins Construction

Johanna F. Still - Aug 10, 2022

Pipeline Poke Headed To Autumn Hall

Elizabeth White - Aug 10, 2022

Rachael Ray, Emeril Lagasse To Appear At GLOW Event

Justin Williams Pope - Aug 10, 2022

New Biz Creations In Cape Fear Region Continue Strong Trend

Johanna F. Still - Aug 9, 2022

In The Current Issue

Film On Rebound; New Horse Enters Race

New soundstages in Wilmington are set to be constructed toward the end of the year – marking activity that appears hasn’t happened since the...

Commercial Tenants Navigate Rent Spikes

One of the realities small businesses throughout the area face when trying to find commercial space, which also include increasing rents and...

Schools Face Nursing Shortage Crises

The pandemic-induced havoc on hospitals around the country still ricochets across systems today. A dire trend accelerated and emerged: a sho...

Book On Business

The 2022 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



Trying to Grow a Business?
2020 Health Care Heroes
2020 WilmingtonBiz 100