In a state where sales tax is king, Rogers County partnered with Retail Strategies to help guide their retail attraction efforts resulting in a Tractor Supply set to open in 2019.
Retail is extremely competitive, so the need to be armed with the right information was extremely important to me from the beginning.”john feary
The Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority (CIEDA) is a public trust organization in charge of stimulating economic growth and development for the City of Claremore and Rogers County, Oklahoma. CIEDA is in charge of primary jobs attraction and retention, as well as increasing sales tax revenues.
“Oklahoma is the only state in the nation that requires its cities to fund its operations 100% from sales tax, so sales tax is king. Retail is extremely competitive, so the need to be armed with the right information was extremely important to me from the beginning,” said John Feary, Executive Director of CIEDA. “It’s the chicken or the egg concept, we can’t land industrial employers if there aren’t places for their employees to dine and shop.”
Feary knew that the CIEDA team’s efforts alone hadn’t moved the needle in retail development. He quickly identified the need to hire a consultant that could add value to the organization’s efforts in retail recruitment, providing tangible results and quantifiable data to strategically recruit retail.
In 2017, John set out to find the right partner that could help quantify what the consumers in Claremore and Rogers County could support with their buying habits and translate that into a retail recruitment strategy.
We interviewed several firms, and frankly, it was the people and the quality of product that Retail Strategies was able to provide to us that made us choose them as our recruitment partner.”John Feary, Executive Director of CIEDA
The Retail Strategies team quickly got boots on the ground in Oklahoma to understand the real estate landscape. The team met with property owners and began analyzing sites for retail development.
Tractor Supply is adding a location in the county, which will bring about 15 new jobs to the area. “Rogers County is largely agricultural, so adding a Tractor Supply is huge,” said Feary. “Tractor Supply only needs about four acres of land but purchased 18 acres, so the plan is to develop that with additional retail.”
The County is in discussion with a major power center and had numerous meetings with developers and national retailers to discuss the new center at ICSC RECon in Las Vegas.
“The Retail Strategies team was working their network of developers during ICSC, and contacting retailers on our behalf. There hasn’t been one thing that I’ve asked for that they haven’t done or tried to do.”
Beyond Retail Recruitment
The partnership is a two-way street and there is constant communication. “With potential pieces of property, Clay has gotten on an airplane to meet with a property owner. The value add has been huge on so many levels. They aren’t just giving me data so that I can make cold calls. It’s continuous dialogue.”
“I’ve told every city leader that has called to ask about Retail Strategies, ‘You’d be foolish not to try.’”