I’m a bit conflicted.

I hate to see a building torn down. Yet, I’m intrigued at what might come next.

I wasn’t a fan of the shaggy shingle sides of the Marvel Cleaners, 602 Goshen Ave., Fort Wayne, but I was intrigued by the key-shaped shadow on the roof — a clue to a former life? I was impressed by how the business seemed to squeeze into the corner of Goshen and Hensch Street, like some Old World building.

The address was home to a grocery, according to the 1943 Fort Wayne Post Office Directory. However, it has been empty since 2016 when Larry and Maxine Evans retired from Marvel Cleaners, which they owned for about 50 years. They also lived above the dry cleaning business, according to a published report.

Now, 602 Goshen Partners, an LLC out of Indianapolis, must have some plans because Sept. 8 machinery knocked down the building, and Bunn Box carted away the pieces.

I pass by the corner every day and have watched it sit empty while the thrift store on the other side of the parking lot has become Iglesia de Dios, a church. I’ve put in calls to see what’s happening.

I like tacos

La Tropicana, Inc. is putting together El Taquero, 4507 Coldwater Road, Fort Wayne. It plans to get a beer-wine-liquor license. It promises tacos and tequila on its logo.

La Tropicana is at 2529 S. Calhoun St. I’ll let you know when I find out more.

Census Bureau reports on retail workforce

More people are shopping online and the retail workforce has been growing.

“Despite the growth in online retail sales, the retail workforce continues to have a substantial presence in the U.S. labor force and the number of people employed in retail jobs has grown this decade,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 2018, 9.8 million workers had jobs as cashiers, retail salespersons or first-line supervisors of retail salespersons, up from 9.6 million in 2010. Together, those jobs represented 6.3% of the total U.S. labor force.

Cashiers were among the lowest paid. “Young, less educated women earning low wages characterize the typical retail worker in the United States,” according to the report. “Minorities are overrepresented in retail work but non-Hispanic Whites still make up the majority (60%) of the retail workforce.”

The Census Bureau report, using data from the American Community Survey, profiles three sales and related occupations — retail salespersons, cashiers and first-line supervisors, all together known as retail workers.

In 2018, 9.8 million people were employed as retail workers in the United States. Retail salespeople and cashiers include about 3.3 million workers each, followed by first-line supervisors of retail sales workers with 3.1 million workers.

The report found:

• Retail workers are younger. Over half of all retail workers were ages 16 to 34.

• Women were more likely to work in retail jobs. About 56.5% of retail workers were women, compared with 43.5% who were men.

• Blacks and Hispanics were “overrepresented” in retail work. Blacks comprised 12.5% of the retail workforce compared to 11.4% of the total workforce; Hispanics were 18.7% and 17.5%, respectively.

• Retail workers were less likely to have a bachelor’s degree or more. In 2018, 18.1% of retail workers had a bachelor’s degree or more, compared with 35.2% of all workers.

• Retail workers were more likely to live in poverty. In 2018, 10.1% of retail workers lived in poverty. In contrast, 6.0% of all workers lived in poverty.

• Retail workers were more likely to have Medicaid. In 2018, 15.3% of retail workers had Medicaid compared to 9.0% of the total workforce. Medicaid is a federal and state program that provides health coverage for low-income people.

• In 2018, the median earnings for full-time, year-round cashiers were $22,109, compared with $35,301 for retail salespersons and $42,421 for first-line supervisors of retail salespersons. In contrast, the median earnings for all full-time, year-round workers was $48,565.

Lisa Esquivel Long is a veteran Fort Wayne journalist and Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly editor. To submit items, send email to llong@kpcmedia.com or call 260-426-2640. ext. 3311.

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