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.

30+ States

We’ve Worked in
More Than 30 States


of Clients Hire
Us Multiple Times

Retailers Recruited to Client Communities

…and hundreds more

What Clients Say About Us

Over and over again I heard about The Retail Coach's "service after the sale." This was important to us. A lot of firms can run data and put together fancy reports. What allows The Retail Coach to stand out is their coaching. A tool is useless unless someone 'coaches' you on the best way to utilize it. When you hire The Retail Coach you are not just buying data, you are hiring a coach to help you with your retail development needs.

Dave QuinnVP, Frisco Economic Development Corp.

In my opinion, The Retail Coach’s strategy and assistance netted us over 325,000 square feet of occupied retail development during one of the most significant retail downturns in the last 20 years. Money well spent.

Sam SatterwhiteExecutive Director, Wylie Economic Development Corp.

The location of Sprouts Farmers Market was a direct result of meetings coordinated by The Retail Coach between our community and site selectors at ICSC/Recon in 2012.

Warren UnsickerVP of Economic Development, Broken Arrow Economic Development Corporation

Our Team

C. Kelly Cofer, CCIM


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 prestigious Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation from the Chicago-based Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute and attended the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University in College Station.

Aaron Farmer

Senior Vice President

With a degree in Marketing from The Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in College Station and an MBA from Texas A&M University – Commerce, Aaron brings to The Retail Coach knowledge of the most current research on retail and marketing trends. Prior to joining The Retail Coach, Aaron 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 (NAASF). Mr. Farmer’s expertise touches each step of a project from the initial trade area determination to the actual recruitment of retailers. Aaron is a sought after speaker for industry organizations including the Texas Municipal League and Texas Economic Development Council.

Nancy Dees

Nancy Dees

Director of Finance

Nancy Dees’ extensive management and accounting experience encompass some of America’s favorite retailers including Kirkland’s. A number cruncher and people person who loves getting lost in data, Nancy is a perfect fit at The Retail Coach where she directs all administrative functions with efficiency and care. Nancy’s 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.

Matthew Lautensack

Matthew Lautensack

Director of Research & Development

Oswego, New York, native Matthew Lautensack brings a specialization in technology integration to The Retail Coach team. Proficient in user experience, digital platform design, ecommerce, and digital advertising, Matthew is a tremendous asset to our staff. As the Director of Information Technology and Ecommerce Strategy at SallyeAnder, Inc., in Minetto, New York, Matthew was a part of the lead sales team at industry trade shows, built and maintained the company’s web presence, and was the lead on all ecommerce activities.

Charles Parker

Director - Retail Strategy

Charles 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, Charles 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. An entrepreneur himself, Charles has a passion for growing businesses. Outside of his time at The Retail Coach, Charles works as a mentor for start-up companies advancing through University-sponsored incubator processes. These experiences allow Charles to understand the needs of our client communities and help leverage their strengths into retail recruitment success. 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.

Will Kline

Director- Retail Strategy

Will, a graduate of and former collegiate baseball player at the University of Mississippi, joined The Retail Coach after five and half years on Capitol Hill. While working for United States Senator Roger F. Wicker, Will focused on an array of policy issues including those related to the First and Second Amendments, the Judiciary, Immigration, Agriculture, Transportation, and Energy. In addition to his legislative responsibilities, Will served as Assistant to the Chairman during Wicker’s time leading the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). In this role, Will acted as the chairman’s liaison between the NRSC and his personal Senate office, traveling frequently with the senator and helping ensure that he fulfills all duties with maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Prior to his time in Washington, Will played professional baseball in the Tampa Bay Rays organization.
Will’s time in college and professional baseball as well as on the Hill gives him unique insight into communities across the country.

Shelby Nickol

Shelby Nickol

Project Coordinator - Retail Strategy

Shelby, a Louisville, Kentucky native, brings a unique background to The Retail Coach with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication and a concentration in Public Relations from Mississippi State University. She is experienced in writing, speaking, media and networking from Marketing and Public Relations backgrounds. Her work with a Louisville, Kentucky Advertising Agency has allowed her to be closely tied with restaurants and retail companies across the South, Midwest, and Northeast. Her diverse skills will be well utilized in her role as Communications Coordinator for The Retail Coach.

Caroline Hearnsberger

Caroline Hearnsberger

Retail Recruitment Specialist

With a Masters in Public Policy and Administration combined with almost 10 years in upper administration and project management, Caroline brings client oriented expertise to The Retail Coach. As the former experience as Director of International Services at Mississippi State University, she managed various international projects bringing a broader approach to The Retail Coach retail economic development recruitment methods. She loves learning about each new client and tailoring her recruitment and development strategies to fit those unique profiles. In the Recruitment Specialist role with The Retail Coach, Caroline is primarily responsible for spearheading the firm’s retail recruitment nationwide. When not actively sourcing development opportunities for our clients, Caroline stays busy as a mom of two very active little girls with big personalities.