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Retailers Evolve To Meet The Needs Of Smaller Households

More than one-quarter of the U.S. population lives alone and 51% are single, according to the most recent census. With a trend headed up and to the right, major retailers are curating offerings to meet the specific needs of this large and growing demographic.

As California goes, so goes the nation…or at least it seems to be the optimal location to test concepts well suited to a new economy of singles who tend to be disproportionately drawn to urban living.

In an otherwise downbeat Q3 earnings call this week, Whole Foods Market announced the opening of their first 365 store in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, a streamlined version of WFM specifically designed to meet the needs of urban dwellers, with a smaller footprint and better prices.

Just today, Orchard Supply Hardware opened its 36,000-square-foot store in the tony North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. With interiors more like a high-end boutique than a hardware store, the specific needs of the single, urban customer were clearly top of mind in its design. Company president Bob Tellier says Orchard Supply’s goal to be...