Arlington Is Second-Most ‘Shopaholic’ City in U.S.

by ARLnow.com November 7, 2011 at 9:38 am 5,669 39 Comments

Arlington is the second-most “shopaholic” city in the U.S., according to consumer budgeting website Bundle.com.

Using several data sources, Bundle calculated that Arlington residents spend an average of $254.58 per month on clothes, shoes and other apparel. That’s second only to Washington, D.C., where residents spend an average of $263.00 per month on wearable goods.

The national average, according to Bundle, is $142.08 per month.

Immediately below Arlington on the “shopaholic” top 10 list is Nashville, Tenn.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Dallas; San Francisco; San Jose, Calif.; Seattle; Austin, Tex. and Bakersfield, Calif.

“We’re a nation of shopaholics, with Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw (obsessed with shoes and designer labels) and How I Met Your Mother’s Barney Stinson (obsessed with suits and luxury goods) representing on our television sets what two of America’s estimated 18 million shopaholics might look like in real life,” Bundle said.

Arlington is, of course, a county — but it’s considered a Census-Designated Place for statistical purposes and is thus included on a number of “top city” lists.

While Arlington may be near the top of the “shopaholic” list, that doesn’t mean that all residents are benefiting from the county’s affluence. Recently, the number of families served by the Arlington Food Assistance Center reached an all-time high. Nationwide, new census data out today shows that a record 49.1 million Americans are living in poverty.

  • HA. This explains why I like living in Arlington 🙂 🙂

    • Thes

      This statistic is bogus. Arlington also has about 1.2 jobs per resident (including babies). That’s not because people are moonlighting — it’s because non-residents come here to work and shop. Good for our economy but bad for understanding local culture.

      • brendan

        yeah, just on the surface there are several problems w/ the data…

        they specify “resident(s)” several times and mention something about using data from the govt, Citi and 3rd party vendors… but no discussion on how they determine residency. Kind of impossible, if the spending data is actually anonymous as they claim, to append it to a list a residents, meaning that whole term ‘spending per resident’ is worthless and that the survey is significantly flawed.

        • brendan

          even if they did this by zip code, which is flawed for several reasons (above average transient (short term/shifting, not homeless) population, 22101?, illegal immigration, etc) their categorization process was likely not any more accurate than those used by services like Mint.com which while impressive, still incorrectly assigns/categorizes about 10-20% of purchases, with a much higher error rate for local businesses.

  • YTK

    SECOND???? OMG! I DON’T want to be in the FIRST!!!!!
    Mall maniacs rushing at you, little kids skareeeming….

  • JamesE

    I spend $254.58 a week on beer.

  • YTK

    OMG2 — I WORK in the FIRST!!!! Dee Cee….!!!
    Whod’a THUNK???
    God…BLESS…New York City!!!!

  • Ha ha. I guess when you live on top of shopping it ends up being your recreation.

  • James

    “We’re a nation of shopaholics, with Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw (obsessed with shoes and designer labels) and How I Met Your Mother’s Barney Stinson (obsessed with suits and luxury goods) representing on our television sets what two of America’s estimated 18 million shopaholics might look like in real life,” Bundle said.

    Probably DC and Arlington have more to do with the federal government and their pay scale. Once the Federal cuts start, we’ll fall out of the top 2 spots easily. This area hasn’t felt the recession as bad but it’s coming.

  • novasteve

    Did they also do a followup study on the credit card debt of these shopoholics?

    • Choogirl

      Not all shopaholics have credit card debt. My choos are paid for in cash. 🙂

  • Frivolous

    This is explains why we have top-notch malls like Ballston

    • Paco

      Ol’ Mally, the friendly Grim Reaper mascot of outdated retail space, invites you to Ballston Common Mall for a dinette set and some Sbarro (at least some leftover pizza from before the Sbarro shut down).

      • drax

        That’s some old pizza. Another joint has opened, and then closed, in that location since then.

  • Swag

    $254.58 per month? I don’t think I average that per year…

    • Loocy

      Not even my whole family. Groceries, yes, clothes and Stuff, no. Where do they get their data?

      • drax

        The 1%.

  • KalashniKEV

    No Long Island in the top ten?

    It must not be scaled…

  • Valerie

    It does not appear that tourist dollars were figured in to the shopaholic designation in DC or Arlington.
    Remember boys and girls…three kinds of lie… lies, damned lies and statistics.

    • drax

      Um, not including tourist dollars would make it MORE accurate.

      • Valerie

        You misread my comment..the point is, they probably included tourist dollars, but divided only by the number of permanent residents.

        • drax

          Well, no, I read the comment right – you wrote it wrong.

          But good point. However, it’s not clear that they were counting sales or spending. If it’s spending (by residents), it doesn’t count tourist shopping.

          • zzzzz

            They looked at household spending. The numbers are for a resident of Arlington (or DC or wherever). They didn’t look at where people spent the money. If they did that, I would count as a person in Tysons because that’s where I do most of my clothes shopping.

            “We looked at the top 100 cities in the U.S. by population to see which cities have households spending the most on clothes, shoes and other wear. The spending data, which comes from the US. government, from anonymous and aggregated spending transactions from Citi, and third party data providers, was tracked for a full year from March 2010 to March 2011.”

          • drax

            Thanks. That’s what I suspected.

  • 22201

    It could also have to do with the number of out of state residents in their 20s who move here in their car or suitcase and simply need outfits and basics. Craigslist in NoVa is a rare gem for the amount of good items for sale at a discount.

    • Choogirl

      For every struggling college student or young professional just starting out in Arlington, there is someone else who paid over $1million for their home or condo who probably spends 10x that figure on clothes and shoes. There is a pretty considerable amount of wealth in Arlington thanks to the number of lobbyists who like to call this place home.

      • drax

        Not just lobbyists. Contractors! That’s where the real money is.

        • Choogirl

          I live in Turnberry Tower and probably 75% of residents that building are lobbyists. I’ve lost count of the number I’ve met since moving in a few months ago. I doubt most contractors can afford the $3 million condos in there. They don’t actually pay them that much.

        • Aaron

          Not contractors, consulting is where the real money is for Arlingtonians in their mid-20s. We also don’t have too many struggling lawyers here either.

  • I against I

    Don’t forget


    Cycling Bib Tights $164.99

    Plus the jack for $89.99


    I mean, you can’t ride a bike in Arlington, without your man tights!!

  • CW

    It looks like they are taking tourist spending into account, seeing as to how the bundle article says “and tourists can’t resist picking up a few souvenirs when visiting the place”. Now, what did they use as the denominator then? Seems odd.

  • bennynojets

    That is a lot of brown flip flops.

  • Hikin’ the pike

    OMG! I MUST have that report! Where can I buy it?

  • G Clifford Prout

    Somehow I find this very sad.

    • R. Griffon

      See: Conspicuous Consumption

  • DSS10

    From your comment, I can tell you know absolutely nothing about federal pay scales. Perhaps if we passed lobbying reform then you would really see a drop in local shopping and perhaps an improving national economy.

  • Clarendon

    It’s indicative that people are not offended at being referred to constantly as “consumers”. As if your highest purpose is to consume. Shop ’til you drop…

  • Frank

    I’m like a shopaholic, but for booze.

    • Choogirl

      I feel confident that we are #1 for dollar amount spent on alcohol. We’re #1! We’re #1!


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