Director, Retail & Investment
Justin Sterling invites Lacy Beasley to discuss new thinking in economic development, and how retail functions in smaller communities as a lifestyle magnet for workforce. With years spent at the chamber of commerce and the Shopping Center Group, Lacy realized the need to retail recruitment in small to mid-sized communities and has passionately pursued methods to enable these communities with recruitment and education.
“Is it true that smaller communities feel that you gotta have industrial, and that will lead to retail later on? And are you suggesting that it is actually quite wise to have a good retail recruitment program in conjunction with an industrial recruitment program?”
“Absolutely! … The Millennials have a very different way of entering the work force than the baby boomers did… Millenials don’t have that same type of employment loyalty. They want to go and live in a community they think is cool. And a lot of that is based on cool restaurants, places they can shop…. it’s all about the experience.
I do believe that holistic economic development approach has to involve retail, and that is a change we see in the market place.”
Lacy Beasley, President of Retail Strategies, has spoken at over 100 events on retail trends and the process of recruiting retail. While highlighting overall changes, from growth to closures, her dynamic talks offer a number of ways to understand how to expand your community’s retail footprint by understanding retail growth as a vital component to economic development, which directly impacts enhanced quality of life, jobs, and tax revenue.