Retail Market Report

Harlem’s 125th Street has been experiencing significant change and growth over the past decade.  It is moving from a local and residential neighborhood to a core destination in New York City, boasting national retailers and brands in addition to its local shops.  Harlem’s unique history and cultural heritage and its newer dining experiences are an important aspect of the attraction for visitors and tourists to the area as well.

In addition, there are several new developments, retail, educational, and residential that will spur the growth of the neighborhood.  This includes ongoing major development projects by Columbia University as well as other office and residential projects.  As retail growth is fed by office and residential density, this bodes well for businesses along 125th Street.

During this transition, it continues to be important to maintain a solid foundation for the existing and incoming businesses.  This includes providing a safe and secure environment, visible signage, clean streets, etc.

Understanding who the target market(s) is for businesses on 125th Street is integral to marketing to them.  The more the target markets are understood, the better the retail and services can continue to serve the existing and changing residential, office, and visitor populations.

Lastly, in a time when businesses are facing stiff competition from local and international e-commerce based retailers it is important to remember that consumers are still looking for unique experiences.  With Harlem’s unique position as a centre of African-American culture and history, businesses along 125th Street have the ability to provide an exclusive experience and highlight niche products, thereby creating a unique proposition to visit Harlem.

With the pace of transformation only expected to accelerate, Harlem, and the businesses on 125th Street, are poised for more growth as the customer base and retailer base continues to strengthen.

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