EL CAMPO, TX
El Campo has seen Palais Royal expand its footprint, and Mattress One, Chicken Express, Burger King, Taco Bell, Stripes, Sears Home Center and Domino’s open since hiring with Retail Strategies.
El Campo, TX
El Campo, Texas has a mission of providing fiscally responsible public services and public safety in support of quality of life, community character and economic opportunity for all residents. Part of the focus of quality of life and economic opportunity for their residents and business owners is building a thriving retail sector.
This city of 11,600 residents located just southwest of Houston, Texas has a Type A Sales Tax Funded economic development corporation. The economic development team is very limited in what they can do with retail recruitment, so the City of El Campo and City Development Corporation (CDC) of El Campo decided to hire an outside partner to help with retail development.
“I’ve worked with retail consultants before, and they helped with demographics and statistics, but it was nothing like the partnership we have with Retail Strategies”, said Carolyn Gibson, executive director for the City Development Corporation of El Campo.
“I have a team of experienced retail recruiters who assist us with the things we are unable to do. It’s like having another whole department in our office. In the past I had to spend valuable time working with the data and recruiting retail to the area. This is a win-win for El Campo and the CDC because we both depend on sales tax revenue for funding our programs. The increased sales tax dollars help the city keep property taxes lower.”
City leaders made the decision to hire Retail Strategies, a national retail recruitment firm, to identify development opportunities in El Campo and work with retailers on their behalf.
“My office is an office of two people, so partnering with Retail Strategies is like having five additional people in your office with you. And they are actively recruiting retail,” said Gibson.
The Retail Strategies team performed an initial retail gap analysis on the market and discovered limited retail options and a significant leakage in department stores. Instead of reaching out to department stores to come into the market, they ran independent reports identifying the specific products that could be offered in existing retail stores in El Campo.
The quantitative data was presented to Palais Royale and it was the information they needed to make the decision to expand their footprint in El Campo. The retailer had debated for years if they should expand and with Retail Strategies information given to the tenant and the landlord, a deal was struck with Palais Royale to expand into an adjacent 6,000 sq. ft. former Blockbuster building.
The shopping center owner updated the exterior of the entire center, a vacant retail space was filled, and the city gained tax revenue.
“The real difference is the team at Retail Strategies. Having their team recruiting on our behalf is wonderful. It isn’t just another tool in the toolbox,” finished Gibson.
Other retail and restaurants that have opened include Burger King Taco Bell, Stripes, Sears Home Center and Domino’s. An estimated 163 jobs have been created and an estimated annual sales tax of $524,658 are generated due to the city’s success with Retail Strategies.
Beyond Retail Recruitment
“We have worked with another company in the same field… they were an information provider, Retail Strategies is a team member,” says Gibson.
Gibson took the time to discuss our involvement with El Campo in 2016 at the ICSC RECon in Las Vegas.