The cities of Kingsville, Texas, and Elk City, Oklahoma, are learning hard work pays off.
The two cities recently discovered retailer Hobby Lobby will be relocating to their areas. These cities are clients of The Retail Coach, hired independently by the Greater Kingsville Economic Development Council and the City of Elk City, Oklahoma. As part of the firm’s services, Retail Recruitment Coordinator Mary Morgan Brown reached out to Hobby Lobby and other retailers the firm determined to be a good fit for the communities.
Key to Connecting with Retailers
“Staying consistent in reaching out to the right people is key. Cities have to put themselves out there and make sure they are heard by retailers,” said The Retail Coach’s Brown. In order for cities to stay in the forefront of retailers’ minds, Brown recommends attending conferences such as International Council of Shopping Center’s (ICSC) RECon and various ICSC Dealmaking conferences held across the nation.
“You have to be willing to shake hands and meet people. Retailers who are looking for potential sites are much more likely to remember a friendly face than an email,” said Brown.
Proving the Retail Potential
To determine which retailers to contact, The Retail Coach team first found the retail trade area for each city, or where 80-85% of the cities’ consumers are traveling from. Using this information, the team constructed each city’s gap/opportunity analysis, showing which categories the city’s consumers were traveling outside of the city to purchase. Elk City lost $4,492,327 to surrounding cities’ hobby, toys, and games stores in 2015. Kingsville’s leakage for the same category was $2,688,368 for 2016.
Meeting Retail Requirements
Every retailer has its own set of qualifications that potential sites must meet. Determining what type of demographics the retailer requires, how close is their nearest store, and what level of income residents must have is essential in retail recruitment. One of retailers’ biggest concerns is cannibalization. If they put a store too close to an existing one, they could potentially have two stores competing for the same customer base. All of these factors, and more, went into the firm’s decision to recruit Hobby Lobby on behalf of Kingsville and Elk City.
Hobby Lobby is expected to hire 35-50 new employees in each store. The giant crafting retailer sells home décor products such as fabric, home accents, floral pieces, and custom framing as well as crafting supplies such as paint, yarn, beads, and scrapbooking materials. Seven hundred Hobby Lobby stores exist nationwide.
The Retail Coach Congratulates Our Clients, Kingsville and Elk City!!