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Since 2000, we have provided the research, relationships, and strategies needed to drive new retail developments.

We are a national retail consulting, market research and development firm that combines strategy, technology, and creative expertise to develop and deliver high-impact retail recruitment and development strategies to local governments, chambers of commerce and economic development organizations. Through our unique Retail 360® process, we offer a fully customized system of products and services that better enable communities to maximize their retail development potential.


of Experience


Clients Served
Throughout the U.S.

40 States

We’ve Worked in
40 States


of Clients Hire
Us Multiple Times

Retailers Recruited to Client Communities

…and hundreds more

What Clients Say About Us

"I have been working closely with The Retail Coach for more than ten years and they will always be my go-to retail recruitment firm."

Thom LambertFormer Executive Director | Decatur Economic Development Corporation | Decatur, Texas

“The Retail Coach is hands-down one of the best consultant teams of any kind that our team has had
the pleasure of working with. Their extensive expertise and nationwide connections with site
selectors, developers, and major chains have opened up new doors for the City of Lancaster, allowing
us to take our recruitment efforts to the next level and collaborate with brands that hadn’t previously
considered our market. They work as an extension of our staff, anticipating needs and freeing up in-
house staff time. I can’t recommend the Retail Coach highly enough.”

Chenin DowEconomic Development Manager | Lancaster, California

"The Retail Coach has truly been the teammate I needed to achieve our goals in the retail and commercial sector. Their always prompt response and ability to use data to support quality development and foster long lasting relationships have made a difference in our connections and community. The Retail Coach staff has been an outstanding extension of our office and our community. "

Serra P. HallVice President of Project Development | Industrial Development Authority | Newton County, Georgia

"The Retail Coach organization has a proven track record of accurately portraying a community, providing the information needed to help prospective retailers see the community. They are well respected among retail chains and retail site locators. They take the time to visit the community- boots on the ground if you will and they will visit with retailers and learn all they can about the community before publishing their work. Another factor in this is the company is constantly seeking out new technology to improve their results- they have the tools and the talent."

Charles L. SmithCEcD | Former Executive Director | Mount Pleasant Economic Development Corporation | Mount Pleasant, Texas

Our Team

C. Kelly Cofer, CCIM

Founder & CEO

C. Kelly Cofer leads The Retail Coach with more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of retail real estate and economic development. Mr. Cofer’s professional background encompasses market research and site selection, advisory and leasing services, and property brokerage and development for leading national and regional retailers and restaurants in more than 150 cities throughout the United States. Mr. Cofer has earned the CCIM designation from the Chicago-based Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute and attended the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University.

Aaron Farmer


Aaron Farmer brings to The Retail Coach knowledge of the most current research on retail and marketing trends. Prior to joining The Retail Coach, Mr. Farmer was employed in marketing research and retail development where he worked on projects for some of America’s leading retailers and restaurants including FedEx, Kinkos, Sally Beauty Supply, Adidas, Concentra and the National American Association of Subway Franchises. Mr. Farmer’s expertise touches each step of a project from the initial trade area determination to the actual recruitment of retailers. Mr. Farmer holds a degree in Marketing from The Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and an MBA from Texas A&M University – Commerce.

Nancy Herbert

Director of Finance

At The Retail Coach Nancy Herbert directs all administrative functions with efficiency and care. She is a number cruncher and a people person who loves getting lost in data. Mrs. Herbert extensive management and accounting experience encompass some of America’s favorite retailers such as Kirkland’s. Mrs. Herbert previous experience as a retail buyer and store inventory control manager provides helpful insight as she assists in the retailer research performed by The Retail Coach for each project.

Caroline Harrelson

Strategy Director

Caroline focuses on key strategic planning for clients and manages The Retail Coach relationships with commercial real estate professionals and retail site selectors across the country. Caroline’s experience in recruiting retail to our client communities has given her the ability to provide municipalities the competitive advantage by assessing a market or site and anticipating specific feedback from the retailers’ perspective.
With a Masters in Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) from Mississippi State University, Caroline understands the dynamics of working in the public sector and the multiple levels of stakeholders and other factors that influence our partnerships with our client communities.
Prior to joining The Retail Coach, she served as the Director of International Services under the Office of Research and Economic Development at Mississippi State University. Caroline approaches retail economic development from the perspective of both a consumer and a retailer, and provides updates on market trends and consumer habits at speaking engagements nationally.

Charles Parker

Project Director

Charles Parker brings more than five years of experience in the fields of economic research and entrepreneurship to The Retail Coach. Prior to joining The Retail Coach, Mr. Parker served as Research Assistant at Mississippi State University. During his time at MSU, he conducted research exploring economic impacts of tourism and outdoor recreation on municipalities. The McKinney, Texas native holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Mississippi State University, where he continued on to earn his Master of Business Administration and Master of Science degrees.

Kyle Cofer

Project Director

Kyle brings more than 4 years of experience in real estate and entrepreneurship to The Retail Coach. As Project Director, Kyle oversees the retail recruitment process and leads his team to promote economic development in client communities. In this role, he works closely with local officials as well as retail site selectors, brokers, and developers. He is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and is a frequent speaker for municipal leagues and webinars. Kyle graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in Business Management and a minor in Real Estate and Entrepreneurship.

Matthew Lautensack

Director of Research & Development

New York native, Matthew Lautensack, brings a specialization in critical theory and technology integration to The Retail Coach team. During his tenure at The Retail Coach, he has brought efficiency to the operational processes, through automation, streamlining, and systematizing internal workflows. He was also the principal developer on a number of new products and services The Retail Coach offers today.
Prior to joining The Retail Coach, Matthew was the Director of Information Technology at a natural soap company based out of upstate New York. He is a principal developer on a number of new products and services that have been introduced to the retail recruitment industry through his work at The Retail Coach.

Kaleb Wilson

Project Manager - Recruitment Specialist

Kaleb's responsibility within The Retail Coach includes maintaining purposeful relationships with retailers, restaurant site selectors, developers, real estate brokers, and other third parties involved in retail real estate in our client communities. His background includes advocating for tenants in their commercial real estate portfolio decisions to align with their long-term site selection goals. Additionally, he serviced corporate employees as they navigated the logistics of relocating domestically within the US. Kaleb's mission is to collectively propel client communities towards optimal growth while simultaneously maintaining a customer service ethos. Kaleb resides in Texas and received his bachelor's degree from the University of North Texas.

Cary Everitt

Recruitment Specialist

Cary joined The Retail Coach as an addition to the retail recruitment team. He comes from a background of almost 9 years in healthcare and retail management helping him gain exceptional relationship building skills and education in business development strategies. The main focus for Mr. Everitt at The Retail Coach is to identify and recruit interested restaurants and retailers to client communities contributing to market growth and expansion. He is currently in the process of obtaining his Texas real estate license in order to expand his knowledge in the field, allowing him to offer the best guidance and assistance to all current and future clients alike.

Lauren Benjamin

Recruitment Specialist

Lauren's responsibility within The Retail Coach includes maintaining purposeful relationships with retailers, restaurant site selectors, developers, real estate brokers, and other third parties involved in retail real estate in our client communities. Lauren brings excellent customer service experience to the company, having worked for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company for 8 years as a Spa Sales Manager. Most recently, Lauren worked in Administration at a Healthcare System in Naples, Florida where she was able to focus on being detail oriented and efficient in her work. Lauren graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a degree in Resort & Hospitality Management.

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