Executive Briefing

Austin’s retail offensive

SoCo is the new SoHo — or something. Also: Lululemon on fire, Van Leeuwen’s artsy ice cream, and YouTube’s taking share.

Hello hello! It’s Dan Frommer. It’s The New Consumer. What’s on your radar?

I’m honored to be this week’s guest on the Taste Podcast, hosted by Matt Rodbard. We had a very fun conversation about a bunch of topics: Some Consumer Trends, some LA coffee, some NYC restaurants, canned beans, my dream cookbook projects, and much more. Check it out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you partake.

I’m writing this on the plane home from Austin, where I spent most of this week. (Thanks to the team at Perpetua for inviting me to speak at this year’s Growth Labs conference!) I haven’t been here in six years — since SXSW 2018, yikes — and have been pretty blown away.

Austin’s population and downtown-high-rise-construction booms are old news — see the New Yorker’s lengthy feature from earlier this year on the city’s “astonishing transformation” and everything that’s come along with it.

But the change didn’t really hit me until I spent a few hours walking around the South Congress retail strip, which looks nothing like it used to. Here’s October 2016 in Google Street View on top, and May 2022 below. Imagine many blocks of this.

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

I’m a longtime tech and business journalist, and I’m excited to focus my attention on how technology continues to profoundly change how things are created, experienced, bought, and sold. The New Consumer is supported by your membership — join now to receive my reporting, analysis, and commentary directly in your inbox, via my member-exclusive newsletter. Thanks in advance.

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