The Retail Coach navigates the complex route to attracting retail to your community.

So your city or town wants to attract more retail and restaurants. Community leaders hear from all quarters that folks want a Target, a Starbucks, a grocery store – a “fill-in-the-blank.”

The Retail Coach partners with many such communities that are interested in Retail Economic Development. All economic development is a process where “deals” can take years to be completed.

Retailers and restaurants looking to expand the number of locations in a city or expand into other cities and states go through a lengthy and painstaking process that hopefully, finally results in a grand opening.

Many people are not aware of the numerous factors that go into a retailer’s decision to expand into a new location. After the retailer or restaurant has done the hard work of determining it is feasible to open a new location, they look at the following:

  • Population Arby’s requires 20,000 people within two miles.
  • Area IncomeStarbucks require a median income of $60,000 and over.
  • Trade Area Determination – Party City prefers a 150,000 trade area.
  • Site or Building Location
    • Traffic CountsStarbucks requires 25,000 vehicles per day.
    • Frontage – Hibbets needs 50 feet of frontage.
    • Traffic LightsCVS requires 1.5 acres at a lighted intersection.
    • Building SizeBurlington stores require 40,000 to 50,000 square feet.
    • Parking – Starbucks needs 20 parking spaces.
    • Morning or Evening Side of the Road Starbucks requires the morning side of the road.
    • Proximity to other businessesGold’s Gym prefers to be near a grocery store, entertainment and health oriented businesses.
    • Stand Alone, End Cap, Kind of Center – KFC prefers a stand-alone or endcap.
    • Visibility – Most retailers need to be seen by passersby and won’t locate behind another building.
    • Price Per Square Foot/Acre – A bottom-line decision to ascertain the feasibility of the project.
    • Whether they can buy or lease or build-to-suit – Some retailers only want to own their location and not lease.
    • Drive-time – How long does it take the people to get to the location from their homes or business?
  • Age of target market – Target customers have a median age of 40.
  • Retail Gap Analysis – Where are people shopping? Are they shopping in your community or a neighboring community?
  • Zoning – Does city ordinances allow a restaurant that serves alcohol locate on a particular site?
  • Sign Ordinances – Retailers and restaurants need signs. Can they have a custom sign or does the location require approved homogenous signage?
  • Infrastructure – Does the parking lot flood? Are the roads city roads and therefore maintained by the city?

How does a community find out and handle all the different requirements of all the different retailers? How does a community obtain all of the information every retailer requires? How does a community contact and negotiate with all the different retailers?

The Retail Coach has long-standing relationships with a vast number of retailers and knows their required criteria. The Retail Coach learns about a community and through research, develops a complete picture in order to determine which retailers and restaurants are potential matches. The Retail Coach works to create connections and empower communities.

After a retailer has approved a market and found a possible site, the negation process begins.  This process can last from one to two years depending on the size of the project. A general timeline is as follows:

  • The retailer submits a letter of intent or purchase offer to property owner.
  • Retailer and property owner review, make comments, and sign (6 weeks or more).
  • Once under contract, the retailer’s corporate team will review and approve the site against sites in many other markets (4 to 12 weeks).
  • Once approved by corporate, the legal teams of both sides review and negotiate certain conditions before signing the final deal (up to 12 months).
  • Plans are submitted to the city once the lease or purchase is soon to be executed.
  • Lease or purchase offer are signed and publicly announced.
  • Construction or retrofitting begins (3-18 months).

Every community is unique. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Some retailers and restaurants will never move to some cities. That’s reality. But, in order to have the best chance at attracting as many potential retailers and restaurants as possible for your community, you need an experienced partner to guide you, conduct the research, produce necessary data and do the groundwork necessary to make the right connections and negotiate the most favorable outcomes. To end with another sports analogy; even getting to bat requires expertise The Retail Coach offers.

About The Retail Coach

The Retail Coach, founded in 2000, is 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. The Retail Coach offers a fully customized system of products and services that better enable communities to maximize their retail development potential. Their experience in leading municipalities in over 500 communities in 35 states will create better, stronger places to live and work.
For more information on The Retail Coach, visit www.theretailcoach.net.