New and Ongoing Retail Venture Strategy: Utilizing Regional Consumer Expenditure and Interest Data

Matthew C. Sonfield


This article provides information on two different sources of data that have the potential to assist an entrepreneur or business owner in formulating retail venture strategies for new or on-going businesses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Consumer Expenditure Survey” provides regional and city data on consumer spending for a wide variety of product categories. The “Google Trends” database provides data on consumer interest in many product categories by state, broad metropolitan regions, and by cities. Comparing data across and between geographic locations on these two databases provides information that can assist both the currently active and the nascent businessperson in choosing locations for new or expanded retail outlets, or for expansion of product lines in existing outlets. Students of entrepreneurship and small business will also benefit from an awareness and understanding of these sources of data.

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