Month: November 2013

Living the Dream (or not)

Posted by Rickey Hayes on November 18, 2013 in Blog | No Comments

Written by
Rickey Hayes
Retail Attractions, LLC

Not all cities are created equal. It doesn’t take a scientist to figure that one out. One of the toughest things about our work is getting the leaders of a community, especially the small population communities, to come to reality about the true scope of retail development. Many times the elected officials in smaller markets are almost offended when you tell them that they probably are not candidates for a certain popular restaurant or retailer. We don’t mean to extinguish all hope… sometimes reality is surprising.

Just because a citizen or an elected official sees a particular retailer in a community they believe is comparable to their community in some way or another, they assume that specific brand would be interested in their community. Not necessarily. Retail and restaurant site selectors and tenant representatives are quite detail oriented, and what on the surface seems like a close comparison may not be based on their criteria.

Does this mean that you should give up? Of course not. It may mean adjusting your expectations a little, but every community has leakage and potential for new retailers. Having the ability to get behind the ropes to the actual retail or restaurant decision maker helps push your community to the top of the list, and our firm takes you behind the ropes.

So you have a retailer interested in your community… they should be open in 6 months, right? Wrong! Yes, the actual construction may only take 6 months, but there is a lot more to the process of retail development than the construction. From initial market interest to opening doors to local consumers can, and often does, take years. Cities should not be frustrated when it doesn’t happen overnight. The one certain fact each community can count on is that it WILL take longer than you thought it would. Elected officials should have a grasp on this and be a calming force for the impatience of the citizens.

Bottom line? I assure you that there ARE retail and restaurant brands that match up well with your city. Your city will be best served if you hire an independent, third party to determine your market strengths and weaknesses, your current demographics, and where your consumers live, work and shop. I cannot stress how important it is to have current data, some knowledge of technology, and at least a semi-modern website. Even more important than the data is hiring someone to make sure the right people see it and understand it. Retail Attractions is that someone.

It’s not hard to figure out where you are. If you feel your community is heading in the wrong direction, don’t be frustrated. You can change the direction. Even if your city is headed the right direction, you can always benefit from professional assistance. Retail Attractions can help. Call soon. We are ready to get to work for you.

Rickey Hayes is the principal of Retail Attractions, LLC, a firm dedicated to helping cities and developers successfully find retail sites, close deals and improve the quality of life for our client cities.