Map of the Month: Expansion of DC-Incubated Retailers

July 2014

Washington, DC has been recognized as one of the most sought-after retail investment markets not only in the United States, but internationally. The diverse population and strong demographics of Washington make it highly attractive to businesses looking to test brands and concepts before launching into bigger markets. Although largely lead by national and international brands, DC has also been a valuable testing area for small and local retailers looking to launch new brands and capitalize on our strong resident and workforce populations.

In recent years, national, international and independently-owned businesses have benefitted from the incubator-like qualities of the DC retail market, resulting in rapid growth of new brands and retail concepts – all born and developed here in Washington, DC.

In July’s Map of the Month, WDCEP digs deeper into these retailers. Our goal this month is to showcase the retailers who chose Washington, DC as the city to locate their first brick-and-mortar store and have since expanded to additional stores also within the District. This list not only validates the District of Columbia as a fantastic incubator for new retail concepts, but it also shows that successful retailers are identifying DC’s strength and choosing to expand their stores within the District.

It is important to note that in order to keep “the playing field” fair for this study and map, we had to make a very clear and unwavering set of qualifications that each retailer must meet for inclusion on our map.


  •  A retailer’s first brick-and-mortar store must have opened in the District of Columbia for inclusion.
    • Subsequent stores could have opened in other jurisdictions outside of DC.
    • Example: District Taco opened at 5723 Lee Highway in Arlington in 2010 – before opening any of their three DC stores. They were not included in this map.
  • Subsequent stores must have the same name as the original store.
    • This is a list of STORE growth and success – not ownership success. Washington, DC boasts a large list of very successful entrepreneurs and restauranteurs who have started and expanded in DC. Unfortunately, their various brands and concepts often have different names, which makes it very difficult for us to track on a District-wide level.
    • Example: We unfortunately have to stick to our own rules and therefore cannot include a restaurant like “Meridian Pint”, which will be expanding and opening “Brookland Pint” in the near future.
  • A retailer needs to have at least 2 stores located in DC to be included on our list.

Inevitably, we may have missed some retailers or stores in our research on this topic, so we urge our readers to let us know what we may be missing or have incorrect. Please contact Matt Kruczlnicki with any comments relating to the information on this map.
Matt Kruczlnicki
Research Analyst

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Posted Under: DC News, Map