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News

Oct 18, 2019
VEDC President Dale Fowler will lead the state association of economic development professionals as Chairman of the Texas Economic Development Council's Board of Directors in 2020.
Jul 02, 2019
The company is one of fewer than 10 companies in the U.S. and Canada that have an American Society of Mechanical Engineers Reinforced Thermoset Plastic Corrosion-Resistant Equipment Certification and they recently shipped two newly fabricated 21½-foot fiberglass containers from the Port of Victoria, confirming the local manufacturer has not only returned but surpassed previous production milestones.
Jun 26, 2019
Tony Schum, a Vice President in Duff and Phelps' Site Selection and Incentive Advisory practice provides a glimpse at the trends currently taking place in economic development and how the Victoria community is prepared to compete for new business investments.

Retail study shows $1.1 billion gap in Victoria business

Author: 
Melissa Crowe

Victoria officials are studying the science of shopping - who buys what and why.

However, a new study presented to the City Council on Tuesday showed Crossroads residents are taking $1.1 billion worth of business elsewhere.

Aaron Farmer, vice president of The Retail Coach, which undertook the $53,000 study, said Victoria has room for two major improvements: big box clothing retailers and casual, sit-down dining.

While the $1.1 billion figure was alarming to Mayor Paul Polasek, Farmer said if the city focuses on recovering 10 to 20 percent of that "leak" every two years, it will be considered a success.

Polasek said he is "very excited" with the development prospects the study identified.

"This is much more than just a study," Polasek said. "This is a working relationship."

The Retail Coach is already working with grocery stores, restaurants and retailers to find sites for new business in Victoria. According to the study, Victoria is losing out on $222 million in food and beverage sales and $176 million in grocery sales.

Assistant City Manager John Kaminski said the key to the study is figuring out where residents are going for their shopping and giving them local opportunities and more options.

Farmer conducted license plate studies at major retailers in Victoria and compared those results with national databases to see where shoppers travel from to the city.

He also compared state sales data with local figures to determine the potential for increased business and how to reel in sales lost to Austin, Corpus Christi, Houston, San Antonio and Sugar Land.

Where Victoria excelled was in sporting goods and hobby store sales, which reached about $69 million.

According to Farmer's analysis, Victoria's retail reach spans from El Campo to Beeville and includes about 205,000 people, and the growth of the daily shopper population is reaching about 7 percent, a figure he said is alluring to businesses.

"It's a very on-the-ground approach," he said. "We're in the community talking to businesses, real estate agents and developers. We get a feel for the community."

Farmer is hosting two public meetings tomorrow; 8 a.m. at the Victoria Public Library and 11:30 a.m. at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

"We'll be working with local retailers on how they can use this information to better their business," Farmer said. "We're also a marketing arm, reaching out to restaurants and retailers to convince them to come to Victoria."

 


Originally by The Victoria Advocate on published March 18, 2014 at 8:24 p.m., updated March 19, 2014 at 12:11 a.m.