The Retail Coach hired

Published 10:24 am Thursday, April 7, 2016

Davie County is getting some help in attracting retail businesses.

“Davie County continues a remarkable economic recovery, and we have had tremendous success attracting international manufacturing giants,” said Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission. “The commission believes it is now time to direct some of our attention to growing our retail base.

“We realized as a small community, but with a terrific location connected to a major interstate, we needed the help of an outside professional to assist us with attracting those larger retailers that will help minimize sales leakage, fill vacant storefronts and lots, and expand our retail options,” he said. “We hired The Retail Coach to help us develop and implement a retail sales plan for the entire county.

“The EDC has invited the towns of Bermuda Run, Cooleemee, and Mocksville, and the Chamber of Commerce to actively engage in the process. We believe this retail plan is another way to add value to the county and will help us grow our future,” he said.

Carolyn McManamy, president of the Davie County Chamber of Commerce, is excited about what this project means for the community.

“In 2013, the Davie chamber launched the iSHOPDAVIE shop local program to draw attention to the importance of supporting local businesses and the impact shopping local has on the Davie economy and our quality of life,” she said.

“Working with The Retail Coach will provide us with the right tools to attract new retail and restaurants that compliment what is already here. It will also offer useful information and assistance to our existing businesses to help them grow their customer base and increase their profitability.

“We know that having more shopping and dining options here in Davie County means more jobs and increased sales tax revenues both of which are vital to a thriving local economy, and that is our ultimate goal,” said McManamy.

The Retail Coach, a retail recruitment and consulting firm, is a pioneer of the retail recruitment industry, with clients in 29 states and 86 percent repeat clients.

“Our goal is to recruit more retail, restaurants and entertainment to Davie County to offer our residents more opportunities to buy clothing, electronics, or whatever they need locally; to retain the businesses and restaurants already here; and to keep our current shopping centers and districts vibrant while developing new centers,” said Bralley.

Davie County’s close proximity to the Charlotte and Winston-Salem markets, easy access to I-40, and regional draw due to Wake Forest Baptist Health- Davie Medical Center, make it a prime spot for expanding retail and restaurant options, they said.

During a meeting with The Retail Coach leadership, officials from Bermuda Run said goals for the partnership include expanding retail near Wake Forest Baptist Health and Davie Medical Center to give residents and hospital-goers more retail choices.

Mocksville officials said they would like to expand the retail base as a whole, while also putting a focus on the vibrant downtown.

Cooleemee officials would like more retailers for everyday conveniences.

To achieve these goals, The Retail Coach will begin by determining a retail trade srea, or the area from which the county receives most of its consumers. This includes interviewing retailers and community stakeholders and plotting point-of-sale data.

Next, the team will conduct a demographic analysis for the county and the retail trade area. This is followed by a gap analysis, used to identify sales leakage to other communities.

Using this and similar data, the team will make a target list of retailers and restaurants that would be a good fit in Davie County.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Davie County in this process. Our team has already been on the ground and sees unique opportunities. Our retail trade area determination and retail gap analysis process will help these opportunities stand out to potential retailers, restaurants, and developers,” said The Retail Coach Vice President Aaron Farmer, who will be Davie County’s point-of-contact with the company, along with director of retail strategy, Scott Emison.

“Any time  we can discover  new ways to support and  grow our local economy it is exciting,” said Mocksville Mayor Will Marklin. “We are most appreciative of EDC to have the opportunity to work with The Retail Coach.  Their ability to create resources of potential  new retail and provide data to support and promote our existing retail  will be time well spent in Mocksville.”

John Chandler, Cooleemee Town Clerk, is  eager to see new businesses locate in Cooleemee.

“It is good for an outside group to see us as we are and to assess our needs in regards to economic growth,” he said. “We sit around here brainstorming about what we need in our community as far as retail, but that is usually the end of it. We look forward to the retail coach  contacting potential businesses that would consider our area.”