Retail recruitment critical for community development
One commonality among all communities is that we want our communities to grow, thrive and prosper. To achieve that vision, each community sets its own unique community and economic development goals. Yet, retail development and recruitment are critical pieces of the puzzle in every community.
Consider these statistics:
- One in four jobs in America are retail related.
- 98 percent of small businesses are retail related.
- 78 percent of consumers prefer to shop in-store.
- A typical quick service restaurant (QSR) brings 15 jobs to a community
Retail is a foundational piece of the economic ecosystem in our communities, and it’s often a place to begin to build your local economy. But if you want to get serious about retail development and recruitment, where do you start?
TIPS & TRICKS
Retail tactics for community development and thriving on the Community Development Institute
Retail Strategies is a retail recruitment and downtown revitalization firm headquartered in the South. Clay Craft, vice president of client services, and Jenn Gregory, president of downtown strategies, shared with us some tips and tricks cities and towns can use to bolster retail recruitment and downtown development:
Focus on increasing quality of life and place.
In simple terms: Make your community a better place to live. Know where your community stands in education, crime rates, infrastructure and other key areas. Focus on beautification, walkability, connectivity and accessibility, especially in your downtown area. Business owners want to invest in places where they and their families can live, work and play. You need to entice them to come to your community.
Create residential density.
Consider zoning that supports mixed-use development. Imagine spaces in your community where people work, shop and eat in the same place creating a 24/7 ecosystem of commerce and activity. If mixed-use development is not the right fit for your community, focus on connecting neighborhoods to surrounding downtown or commerce-rich areas.
Know your market.
Identify your assets and positive attributes and communicate them effectively. Familiarize yourself with the language that national retailers speak. They want to know specifics: your population numbers, the traffic count in specific areas of town throughout the day, and household income.
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