What Covid Did to Georgetown Retail

GM finally got around to performing his census of the Georgetown retail neighborhood. This is an (ostensibly) annual survey where GM walks up and down the streets and counts every store, restaurant, etc. He then tracks how many places closed, how many opened, what sort of places are there, and on and on.

The last time he did this was November 2019, i.e. right before Covid hit. He’s been a little hesitant to do another one too soon as it might not paint an accurate picture since so much was in flux. Also he was lazy.

But things seemed to have settled into a new normal, so GM finally got out his sheets and walked the streets. He is still compiling the data. But here are the overarching numbers:

Since November 2019, 123 establishments have closed in Georgetown. On the plus side, 73 establishments have opened. And 10 moved locations within Georgetown. There are 169 vacancies in Georgetown.

Those are pretty big numbers for the neighborhood. Here’s how they stack up to recent years:

As you can see the averages in past years have been lower, at 33 openings, 36 closings and 98 vacancies (although the vacancies were trending upward even before Covid).

But it’s important to keep in mind that the 2022 count covers over two years of openings and closings. If you prorate it down to 12 months you’d get 29 openings and 49 closings, which is a lot closer to the normal range for Georgetown.

Of course, for vacancies the length of the delay in the count is immaterial. You can’t really avoid that there are 169 vacancies in Georgetown. GM has never counted even close to that many vacancies, unless you count the Georgetown Park mall closing.

So we’re in a bit of a glass half full/half empty situation. You can focus on the historically high vacancies as reason to be pessimistic. Or you can look at the strong clip of store openings as a sign that despite everything, people and companies still want to open shop here.

So stay tuned for more data this week!

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One response to “What Covid Did to Georgetown Retail

  1. Pingback: Update on Vacancies | The Georgetown Metropolitan

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