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|Buxton outlines possibilities for city|
The city of Monroe will be able to aggressively recruit retailers to the city within 60 business days following the company's report on those proposed efforts, a Buxton Inc. representative said.
Richard King, Buxton's territory business manager, delivered a presentation to the city council late last week during its regular meeting, which was held Thursday due to the Christmas holiday.
During that meeting, a proposal to spend $70,000 to hire Buxton to develop a retail and restaurant marketing strategy was introduced to the city council. The council will officially vote on the matter at its next regular meeting.
King said Buxton's goal will be determining the retail development strategy for the public sector here.
"Sales tax is a huge economic driver, and you need to capture more of it," King said. "Also, retail is the second largest employer in the United States, and you should always look to uncover more retail and restaurant opportunities and match those to your area."
Buxton's report will involve four steps:
* Define Monroe's trade area. This may include areas outside city limits.
*Profile area customers to determine where they like to shop and what stores they want in Monroe.
* Match those customers to retailers to show retail chains that a customer base for their product is located in this area.
* Provide the city with customized marketing packages to assist in landing those retail and restaurant opportunities.
Buxton is the largest holder of consumer data in the United States with 116 million household/in-house data, King said.
He said the information Buxton will provide will include "what customers we have in your market, and what retailers would want to locate near these customers," he said.
For example, he said the information Buxton will compile will show potential retailers and restaurant owners that Monroe already has a large percentage of its target customer base, proving the city would be a good location for one of their stores.
"We will identify the gaps and give you a target list of which retailers you should go after, and within 60 days you can begin to aggressively market to retailers," King said.
He said Buxton will also identify the retailers who would not be interested in locating in the Monroe market so the city won't waste its time going after those businesses.
"We just tell you what will be a good fit, and then you go after it," King said.
Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said the arrangement with Buxton will be a different approach by the city in going after businesses. In the past, many interested retail chains and restaurants approached the city about opening a new store in Monroe. Now, the city will take a more proactive approach in getting new business, he said.
"This gives us something that we simply haven't had before," Mayo said. "I believe it will be a unique opportunity for us."
Mayo first met Buxton representatives last May during the International Council of Shopping Centers convention in Las Vegas.
He asked Buxton to come to Monroe and help the city with retail development.
The city wants Buxton to determine the best retail and restaurant opportunities for south Monroe, mid-town, downtown Monroe and the Interstate 20 corridor.
If the city council approves the study, money will come from the city's economic development fund.