Discussions of economic development often ignore or downplay the contributions of retail growth. Usually, when someone is talking about economic development, they’re focused on urban revitalization, creating new jobs, industry and manufacturing. But those aren’t the only factors important to economic development on a city-wide level. Retail growth also plays a key role.
A Few Economic Development Examples
From 2002 to 2007 Retail Attractions’ founder Rickey Hayes saw the City of Owasso, Oklahoma experience tremendous commercial and residential growth. Census data shows Owasso’s population grew 55% from 2000 to 2010, and in that time, the city’s sales tax base and general fund revenue nearly tripled. During this period, new commercial construction totaled more than 4.2 million square feet and over a quarter of a billion dollars in total value. This growth made it possible for the Owasso Independent School District to build over $100 million in new facilities, and all this was done without a single tax raise.
The connection between growth and increasing retail in a town isn’t just a recent or anomalous development. Carleton Meyers reported in an issue of Economic Development Review from 1995 that Boaz and Foley, Alabama and Stroud, Oklahoma, all saw sales tax revenues jump 200% in the first year after a Tanger outlet mall opened in the town. Retail growth is tied to economic growth.
Planned Retail Growth
What do Owasso and the cities that welcomed new Tanger outlets all have in common? Well-planned retail growth. It’s a simple fact that when national retail comes to a community, the quality of life improves, and more people want to live in that city. If you’re moving to a new location and have to choose between several different communities, wouldn’t you rather move into the city that offers quality goods and services from retailers you already trust?
Retail Attractions guides communities in defining their potential in the retail marketplace and then teaches them how to market themselves to national retailers and restaurants. It’s a slow process, but one that pays off in the end. Our clients that stick with us will see new retail, new revenue, and new growth in their cities, just like Owasso did.
Key Growth Areas
You might think that with the growing trend in online shopping, retail development would be slowing down in cities. This simply isn’t the case. The market for groceries and fresh foods, for example, remains largely unaffected. Many people also still enjoy shopping in a physical location where they can try on clothes and see the products they’re shopping for first-hand. Specialty stores, excellent restaurants, and outlet malls are always in demand, and we’re still seeing national retailers wanting to develop in new locations. With Retail Attractions’ help, your city can be their next investment.
We don’t just focus on big retailers, either. Building new community centers of retail also benefit small businesses. One of our clients is Angela Ritchie, owner of Creative Insurance, and she says of Rickey, “I have watched him work to create an environment that will allow large corporate chains, as well as small businesses to flourish in Owasso, OK.” When you work with Retail Attractions, you’ll not only bring national retailers into your community but also provide opportunities for local small business owners.
Interested in encouraging retail growth and economic development in your city? Contact us today to request more information or schedule a consultation.