Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Now that big-name retailers like A.P.C. are heading east to serve LA's wealthy hipsters and young professionals, older businesses are having a hard time competing with the area's rapid gentrification.
One store recently effected is Echo Park Pawn Shop, which has been holding court inside the historic Jensen's Recreation Center for decades. The owners tell Eastsider LA that "business was good about five years ago but then it kept going 'down, down' to the point where the revenue was just enough to cover the bills." Adding insult to injury, their landlord recently decided not to renew their lease.
The cost of living is rising, too, but you already knew that. Eastsider reveals that a 450-square-foot studio apartment at Jensen's is about $1,725 a month. "Our customers are Hispanic, but Hispanics left because the rents are so high," the owners add.
As more global retails want in on LA's retail revolution, there will certainly be growing pains for our smaller mom and pops. But at what cost?