Here’s Why Columbus Ohio Was Once Called “Test City, USA”
This is not what I expected to learn when binge-watching the new Victoria's Secret documentary, Victoria's Secret: Angels and Demons.
The documentary, by the way, is incredibly eye-opening, especially for us millennial ladies who had to survive the size 00 era of fashion. However, aside from the often horrifying revelations throughout the series, one fact about the city of Columbus, Ohio caught my attention.
Did you know that the city was once called Test City, USA?
First, What's a Test City?
According to a 2009 article from NPR, a test city is used to introduce a new product to see how it does before releasing it nationwide. Real products are put in real stores to, hopefully, be bought by real consumers.
Okay, But Why Columbus?
There are a few different reasons outlined by lee-associates.com. First, the city is home to not just Ohio State University but also 50 other college and university campuses. That's a lot of young, diverse, and educated people. At the time, that mostly included millennials.
Second, the area is, or at least was, economically diverse. Is it still economically diverse? Possibly. But, as someone who isn't an expert on economics, I don't feel comfortable speaking firmly on it outside of the source article. That said article goes on to say,
One of Columbus’ most distinctive attributes is how diversified their economy is, no one industry accounts for more than 18% of employment.
Thirdly, its access to other markets.
If a product is successful, getting it to other markets would, obviously, be a priority. Well, Columbus happens to be the city that offers the greatest access to the majority of the U.S. population, "with 46% being within a 10-hour drive." Who knew?
The concept of Columbus being a test city is further explored in the 2019 documentary titled, Test City, USA. Check out the trailer below:
We in Michigan tend to have a sense of loathing toward the state of Ohio. But, you have to give them credit where credit is due. Specifically, as someone who loves Halloween, I'm talking about this man and his incredible decoration: