I am forgoing the typical numerical analysis for the purposes of the current post and just trying to reason through the problem that is economic development and economic development policy in Grand Forks. I got to spend some time in other cities over the last few days and so I have some fairly fresh points of comparison in mind.
The recent announcement of the closure of Sears in Grand Forks brings up one of the tried and true topics for me on the Jarrod Thomas Radio Show (KNOX, 1310 AM Grand Forks): what is happening to the retail landscape in Grand Forks? I am sure this is a topic I will be talking about on the radio tomorrow (special time this week).
Since I am sure store closures is a story that will continue I took a look at some recent data regarding retail. It is also the case that my friend Richard Carpenter (whose blog I linked to in the past and you can find in the blogroll list) asked me about some of the numbers in this situation.
Clearing out more of the questions asked on the radio lately. The announcement of the closure of the Macy’s in the local mall set some callers into fits. Their issues and questions ranged from: Is this a harbinger of future closures in Grand Forks and/or Fargo; to: this mall has inadequate numbers of stores and the wrong kind. There were lots of other issues raised too, so let’s clear a few of these things up right now.
Continuing the look at economic differences across the state of North Dakota, today we turn to look at retail. One of the more aggravating things when you try to look at data at the county level are the redactions of information due to privacy concerns. I am not so much complaining about privacy rules are just venting that it makes the analysis less than complete because we do not know the situation for all counties. Here is what North Dakota looked like in 2015: