So you’re in charge of encouraging retail development in a small market community. You want the increase in traffic and tax revenues that expanding retail will provide. But you’ve also learned that attracting retail isn’t as simple as just contacting investors and developers. You need to show them that your town is the best choice for their next project.
Smaller cities face some unique challenges in attracting retail development. It’ll often take longer to accomplish your goal than a similar project would take in a medium- to large-size market. And you’ll have to get more creative in achieving your goals. But that’s certainly not a reason to give up. In fact, attracting retail to towns with a population under 50,000 is something we do all the time here at Retail Attractions.
Understand How Retail Works
The first key step in attracting retail to your small market community is educating yourself. The more you understand how retail works and what retailers expect from your community, the better prepared you’ll be. Our blog is a great resource for information like this. Here are a few posts to get you started:
- Be An Opportunity, Not A Risk
- What Are Retailers Looking For?
- 3 Key Roles Your City Plays In Retail Site Selection
Know Your Data
It’s vitally important to know your market data. Make sure your city has up-to-date and correct information regarding your trade area, including stats about the people who live in your community and those located close enough to shop there. That includes information on population growth, disposable income, and potential customer bases. You’ll also need information on your city’s regulatory climate and your willingness to partner with the private sector.
But even more important than data is knowing how to use it. Without a story, data is just numbers. And in a small market community, data can actually harm you if you don’t know how to present it. That’s why it’s so important to get expert help in collecting and presenting your city’s demographics.
Start Small, Then Expand
Patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to retail development. Even when Rickey was working in Owasso, OK and conditions were perfect for retail expansion it still took 10 years to retail the market. You can’t expect your small market community will turn into a booming center of retail overnight. Setting a series of smaller goals over the course of several years is more practical.
For example, let’s say your small market community is located on a highway. Adding a QuikTrip near the exit from the highway to your town will pull in a lot of business. Once you’re pulling in traffic, there’s an increased chance that you can get a couple of fast food chains like a Taco Bell or Chicken Express to open locations nearby. Those will also drive a bunch of sales and the tax from those will lead to an increase in revenue for your city.
Hire An Expert
One of the biggest challenges facing a small market community is getting retailers to actually see you as a money-making location. You need a way to stand-out from the competition. This is where having a retail expert on your side can make the most difference. It’s one thing to submit data to a company. It’s another for the decision makers to hear that your town is a prime location from a contact they know and trust.
Retail Attractions has extensive experience bringing new retail into small market communities. In fact, most of our clients are towns with a population less than 50,000. We’ve enjoyed a high success rate in helping small market communities increase their retail revenue. And when you work with us, Rickey Hayes will put his network of connections to work for you to help bring big business to your small community. Contact us today to get started.