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Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

Category: Market Research
January 7, 2014 at 4:02 PM

The desires of Seahawks fans: whiskey, red meat and flowers


Hawks fan Andy Lindenaar at the King Street Bar & Oven in Seattle. (Lindsey Wasson/The Seattle Times)

When the Seahawks are winning, it seems like everyone’s a fan. The city is awash in lime-and-blue jerseys with the number 12.

But who are the true fanatics — the ones who eat, sleep and breathe Seahawks, regardless of the win-loss record?

Thanks to newly released survey data by market-research company Scarborough, we have an answer.


Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: football, NFL, Seahawks

November 26, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Bellevue ranked among nation’s top hipster hot spots

Bellevue College in the newly hip 98007 zip code (Photo: KEN LAMBERT/THE SEATTLE TIMES)

Bellevue College in the newly hip 98007 ZIP code (Photo: KEN LAMBERT/THE SEATTLE TIMES)

Capitol Hill is so five-years-ago. Ballard?  Over.  No, the skinny-jeans crowd has moved on to…Bellevue.

That’s if we’re to believe the real-estate data firm RealtyTrac, which placed Bellevue’s 98007 — home to Bellevue College — among the top-10 up-and-coming hipster ZIP codes in the U.S.

Yes, seriously.

The data crunchers at RealtyTrac went looking for nascent hipster neighborhoods in order to identify the best areas for real-estate investment. Apparently, hipsters are great for property values: “Thanks to an influx of trendy restaurants, bars, coffee shops and other amenities,” RealtyTrac’s news release says, “a neighborhood branded as hipster is likely to see  property values and rental rates rise while vacancies and foreclosures decline.”


Comments | More in Demographics, Market Research | Topics: Bellevue, real estate, trends

August 20, 2013 at 7:52 AM

Seattle among cities that dominate U.S. electric vehicle sales

Been noticing a lot of Leafs and Teslas around town lately?  New data reveal what you may have already guessed — Seattle-area drivers are electric car overachievers. According to a report from automotive data giant R. L. Polk, Seattle is one of five metro areas that dominate the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) market. Polk analyzed new vehicle…


Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: automobiles, cars, environment

August 15, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Meet Seattle’s newest hipsters: Mom and dad

Hipsters with hip replacements: Retirees increasingly attracted to downtown living (Photo: Wikimedia)

Hipsters with hip replacements? Baby boomers are moving into Seattle’s trendiest neighborhoods. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Move over, Amazonians.  There’s a new group in town staking claim to Seattle’s trendiest neighborhoods — and they’re the same age as your parents.

Welcome the baby boomers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, in Seattle and a few other cities, realtors and developers have noticed a new trend: There’s been an uptick in boomer-age folks buying high-end condos in hip, urban neighborhoods — areas typically populated by a much younger demographic.

But the boomers want in.


Comments | More in Demographics, Market Research | Topics: baby boomers, condominiums, real estate

July 19, 2013 at 10:06 AM

BECU has surpassed Chase Bank in Seattle

There goes the neighborhood: New Chase Bank in Lower Queen Anne (Photo: Gene Balk/The Seattle Times)

Here lies Easy Street Records: The new Chase Bank in Lower Queen Anne (Photo: Gene Balk/The Seattle Times)

Remember when anarchists vandalized a Chase Bank on Capitol Hill a couple years ago?

When the story ran on The Seattle Times website, most online commenters actually seemed to side with the anarchists.  “I don’t break windows” one top-rated comment reads, “I moved to a credit union.”

Does Chase have an image problem in Seattle — even more so than the other big banks?  Jon Talton a year ago blamed it on lingering anger over the circumstances surrounding Chase’s takeover of Seattle-based WaMu in 2008.

To make matters worse, cherished neighborhood businesses seem to be turning into Chase Banks at an alarming rate: Easy Street Records in Lower Queen Anne, Costas Opa restaurant in Fremont, and Twice Sold Tales bookstore in the University District have all been replaced by Chase branches in the last two years.


Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: Banks

May 24, 2013 at 5:00 AM

Seattle No. 2 for sunscreen use–and No. 1 for wishful thinking

Photo: Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times

Photo: Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times

It’s your typical spring morning in Seattle.  Skies look gray.  Forecast calls for cool temperatures and periods of light rain throughout the day.  Throughout the week, in fact.

You’re prepared, though. You always dress in layers.  Your outerwear has the latest water-resistant finish.  And of course, before you’re out the door, you slather yourself in sunscreen.


That’s right.  New data reveal that, despite the persistent atmospheric gloom here, Seattleites are among the most dedicated sunscreen users in the United States.


Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: Weather

May 14, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Study: Washington the least foul-mouthed state in the U.S.


Cloud halo forms over Mt. Rainier (Photo: Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times)

Your mother would be proud.

According to a new study, folks from Washington are less likely to use obscenities that anybody else in the country.

The study, conducted by Seattle-based mobile-advertising firm Marchex, took a novel approach.  Using speech-recognition technology known as “call mining,” the company gathered data from recorded telephone calls between customers and businesses around the U.S.  Conversations were scanned for polite words, like “please” and “thank you,” as well as curse words (use your imagination).


Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: language

May 9, 2013 at 11:45 AM

What is Seattle’s top beer-loving neighborhood?


Brouwer’s Cafe in Fremont (Photo: Mark Harrison/The Seattle Times)

Seattle Beer Week is in full swing, with an extensive schedule of events celebrating the craft of brewing in our region.  And when it comes to quality beers, Seattleites know their stuff.  In fact, we rank just a fraction behind No. 1 Portland for the percentage of folks who drink microbrews, according to Scarborough Research.

But in this beer-loving town, who loves beer most of all?

To find out, I analyzed the beer-buying habits of residents in 76 Seattle neighborhoods using Experian market data.  After ranking the neighborhoods in three categories, enumerated below, I tallied the scores to determine the overall winner.


Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: alcohol, beer

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