The Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council and LISC/Metro Edge recently released a retail scan of the neighborhood, highlights of which you can see here.
Some info that jumped out at me:
Our neighborhood attracts folks from other nearby communities, who come here to shop for groceries and furniture. I've seen that on the Ashland bus--people come up from Englewood to shop here, so the southbound bus gets fuller at 47th Street. (The study says general merchandise but I would say more specifically clothing is also popular, thanks to the Burlington Coat Factory outlet at 47th and Damen.)
Swap-O-Rama is a big retail draw. No duh, but still, it's important to point that out as an asset to the neighborhood. The flea market also employs neighborhood residents, many of whom would have trouble getting traditional jobs.
Our neighborhood has held on to its population, has more young people than the city average, and has seen its share of households earning more than $50,000/yr. rise by over 20 percent since 2000. Today, nearly a quarter of neighborhood households are bringing home that much money annually. This is all good news that might surprise some people.
We don't have enough appliance and electronics stores to meet demand. Famsa made a smart choice by putting a store in the old Goldblatt's building. Although Famsa is primarily a furniture store, they also sell appliances and electronics. According to the data, a Best Buy or Abt would do well to set up shop here.