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You Have Tourists to Thank for Spurring the Philly Economy

The new Intermix store on Walnut.
The new Intermix store on Walnut.

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The annual retail report from the Center City District and Central Philadelphia Development Corp. has just been released, and it looks like Philly retail had another good year. Despite the recession, only 11.6 percent of the city's storefronts remain vacant, declining slightly from 2011's vacancy rate of 12.1 percent.

Tourists—the same ones you curse for walking four abreast on a sunny Philly Saturday—should be thanked the most for spurring the city's economy: out-of-towners are responsible for 46 percent of the 2012's $750 million total purchases made within one mile of City Hall. Philly office workers and residents are the runners-up, at 25 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

Foot traffic increased at all 14 locations where the Center City District uses cameras to count pedestrians. Perhaps they were headed to the new stores to open on Walnut and Market this year: Intermix, Ann Taylor Loft, Ulta, and Marshalls. The intersection of 13th and Walnut Streets saw the biggest increase in foot traffic, increasing by 48 percent from last year.
· Center City Reports: Retail 2012 [Center City District]