It may not surprise you that there's a lot of demand for surf shops in Hawaii, but did you know that South Dakota is all about its art galleries?
A recent collaboration between The Huffington Post and Yelp reveals what kinds of stores are the most insanely popular in each state, based on the review website's listings. It's the same idea behind our recent map showing each state's most popular type of cuisine.
To collect info for the map, Yelp delved into its online catalogue of store listings and calculated the percentage of a given type of shopping business relative to the total number of business listings in that state. Then, it compared those percentages with each type of store's representation nationwide and produced a list of the top 10 most disproportionally common stores in each of the 50 states.
The map below, made by HuffPost's Alissa Scheller, shows which type of retail shop is the most likely to appear in each state.
Yelp Data Scientist Will Seltzer told HuffPost that it wasn't hard to see why some states favored a certain type of store. The several instances of fireworks shops on the map, for example, was to be expected, given that they're legal only in a handful of states. That there were a ton of "outdoor gear" stores in Montana, well known for its parks and outdoor activities, was also no surprise.
"Baby gear and furniture [stores] show up in the top 10 in Utah and Texas, and those are two states that have some of the highest birth rates nationally," Seltzer pointed out as another example.
The popularity of personal shopping businesses in California and D.C. also could be correlated to the celebrities and politicians who live in those places. This same demographic could explain why custom-made clothing shops (referred to by Yelp as "bespoke clothing") were so hot in New York and D.C.
But what's with the 5 instances of car battery stores on the map?
"My suspicion is that in certain states you have these stores that are just dedicated to car batteries, and in others they're part of a larger outlet or department store," Seltzer said. He went on to point out that businesses on Yelp can be tagged with up to three different store categories, which may also explain the prevalence of car battery stores on the map.