A consulting firm hired to bring retail businesses to the I-55 interchanges at Exit 99 and 102 met with officials from the City of Jackson and the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce last Thursday.
Casey Kidd, CEO for NaviRetail, presented the results of a recent survey and discussed other retail demographics his firm has collected.
By using cell phone tracking technology, Kidd was able to report that many Jackson shoppers come from outside of city limits. Some come from as far away as Poplar Bluff, Farmington and Paducah, KY.
Jackson’s retail trade area is much larger than the 15,000 people who live here. NaviRetail has data that shows 84,541 people shop in Jackson frequently (three to five times a week). This is a figure that retailers who are thinking about expanding here “ultimately care about,” Kidd said. They want to know, “at the end of the day, when I build a store here, how many people can I expect to shop at my store?”
NaviRetail also uses this figure to make a retail gap analysis. The 85,000 people have said they want to spend a total of nearly $1.2 billion. “People are going to spend money. You can’t change that. If they want a new pair of shoes or if they want a pair of athletic shorts, or something like that, they’re going to find it. The only thing we can possibly change is where they get it,” Kidd said.
The amount of money these people spend in Jackson is approximately $335 million. The total “retail leakage” — the amount these people spend outside of Jackson — is $847,769,887.
Of that retail leakage, $93 million is spent in restaurants. Jackson could recoup some of that $93 million by having more restaurants here. Grocery leakage is $97 million. More of that would be spent in Jackson if we had additional grocery stores here.
NaviRetail also gathers data on what those 85,000 people like to do. Shoppers who shop Jackson are concerned with the cost of items over quality; they will shop around for the best price. They are family-oriented and like do-it-yourself projects. They often participate in outdoor activities. Convenience is very important; they prefer one-stop shopping.
Only 266 people responded to the retail survey sent out by the Chamber of Commerce. When asked what retail store they would like to see located in Jackson, the highest response was Aldi (28.01 percent), followed by a clothing store at 8.68 percent. Other stores mentioned were Trader Joe’s, Ross, Target, Home Depot, Marshal’s and Bass Pro Shop.
The top restaurant choices people would like to see come to Jackson are Chick-Fil-A (11 percent), a steak house (10 percent), an Italian restaurant (7 percent) and Red Robin (5 percent).
As for entertainment venues, a movie theater received 24.15 percent of the votes. Respondents also wanted a live mucic venue (12.56 percent), a skating rink (9.66 percent), a family fun center (8.7 percent), go carts (4.83 percent) and mini-golf (4.35 percent).
Kidd discussed with the City and Chamber officials five things that can slow down retail development and five things that can speed it up.
As he concluded his presentation, Kidd said, “I’m really excited about all this. I think there is a lot of opportunity here.”
He met with property owners later Thursday and Friday to discuss the undeveloped land they own at the two I-55 exits.
“I think by the willingness of the property owners to meet with me today and tomorrow shows that there is an interest to do something. And so I’m very encouraged by that.”