Oakland has 55 shopping districts and more than 50 regional and national retailers. Many areas in the city are known for unique boutiques, art galleries, and pop-up shops created by ambitious local entrepreneurs and artisans selling locally made, one-of-a-kind Oakland products.Major mixed-use project now underway will bring significant ground floor retail to the market. Overall, the CIty's retail vacancy rate is under 3% in 2015. Oakland's retail sector employs more than 10,000 people, after adding about 1,500 jobs between 2008-2016.


In April 2018, the San Francisco Business Times wrote Oakland's retail hotspots see record-low vacancy that rivals Walnut Creek's.

Oakland has an estimated retail sales leakage of $1 billion, largely due to a dearth of general goods merchandisers located within the city, in contrast to Emeryville and San Leandro. Furthermore, gaps also exist in parts of the city for other items, such as healthy food and groceries. If those goods were available, sales could generate $10 million more in sales tax revenues and over 10,000 new jobs.

In 2018, we will update our retail strategy and action plan in partnership with the retail sector, emphasizing livable neighborhoods, great streets, vital shopping districts, and sustainable livelihoods. While continuing to support the attraction of major retail tenants to Upper Broadway, Broadway Valdez, and Uptown, we will put a stronger emphasis on increasing access to daily needs, products and services in East and West Oakland.

Shopping Districts

Oakland’s distinctive neighborhoods are the best place to make shopping and dining discoveries. Oakland's 55 shopping districts vary from quiet, tree-lined streets to bustling commercial corridors. Neighborhood-serving stores, unique ethnic shops, upscale chic boutiques, and more--Oakland has it all. A world of gifts can be found throughout Oakland - the most culturally and ethnically diverse city in America.

Learn more at Shop Oakland and Visit Oakland.

Shopping Centers, Food Halls and Farmers Markets

Oakland is home to several neighborhood and regional shopping centers, as well as two food halls—Rockridge Market Hall and Fruitvale Public Market. Oakland also hosts several farmers markets.


Oakland has become an epicenter of fine dining, as chefs and entrepreneurs from across the region and the country discover its savvy, hungry clientele, friendlier permit process and much lower costs compared to the city on the other end of the Bay Bridge. Find out more about Oakland restaurants and the annual Oakland Restaurant Week.

Expanding Retail

Substantial retail leasing and development opportunity remains. Citywide, the largest opportunity lies in general merchandise retailing. West and East Oakland have great opportunity for supermarket retailing. The City of Oakland continues to guide its retail work using recommendations from the

Much retail has located in Oakland, and substantial opportunity remains. Citywide, the largest opportunity lies in general merchandise retailing. In West and East Oakland, the most opportunity lies in supermarket retailing.

The City of Oakland continues to guide its retail work using recommendations from the 2008 Oakland Retail Enhancement Strategy, including:

  • Getting the word out to consumers via Oakland Grown, Visit Oakland and numerous privately run blogs about all the city's spectacular shopping, dining and entertainment options.
  • Creating an unparalleled, fashion-oriented urban shopping place, primarily mid- to upper-income price points, in the Broadway/Valdez District. A specific plan, adopted in July 2014, lays out the retail vision for this area, provides a regulatory framework and makes it simpler and less expensive for development projects to gain approvals. Housing, hotel, office, streetscape and other projects are likely be a part of the area as well.
  • Recruiting national supermarket retailers to open three stores, two in East Oakland and one in West Oakland. Since the Oakland Retail Enhancement Strategy was completed, a Target store with significant food offerings opened on the Emeryville border, and Foods Co opened at Foothill Square.
  • Advise business improvement district and merchant organization leaders on retail recruitment
  • Working with City staff in CEDA, Fire, Police, and the City Administrator’s Office as well as other government partners to share information, maximize opportunities and resolve regulatory issues for retailers.
  • Assist in implementation of and marketing of the Broadway/Valdez District Specific Plan, the main thrust of which is to create a regional urban shopping place to serve Oaklanders and others from the area.
  • Ensuring that the Oakland Retail Enhancement Strategy findings are used in City plans.
  • Continuing to provide “ombuds” services to retailers and retail property owners. Staff provides demographic, traffic, sales tax and data to help businesses make decisions, and staff helps clients navigate the regulatory process.

Check out the City of Oakland – Active Major Development Projects List.

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