What to do When Your Retail Recruitment Efforts Are ďStuckĒ
From The Buxton Co
Retail recruitment can be a long and frustrating process. The next time you feel that your communityís retail recruitment efforts have hit a roadblock, try these steps:
Confirm That You Are Targeting the Right Companies
Basing your retail outreach on a wish-list of companies often leads to disappointment. You may really want a Trader Joeís, but if your market is not a good fit for the grocer then no amount of persuasive marketing materials will convince them to come.
If you havenít done so already, validate that your prospect list is realistic. Leverage market research to identify the retailers that are the right match for your community so your outreach efforts have the best chance of success.
Perfect Your Sales Pitch
Retail recruitment is a sales process. If your outreach isnít gaining any traction and you are confident that you are targeting the right companies, then perhaps itís time to perfect your pitch. Keep these best practices in mind:
Present information thatís relevant to each specific retailer
Test different communications channels (e.g. direct mail, email, LinkedIn) to determine which one is most effective for you
Share content that educates on your market and sites; donít assume they already know your area
Analyze and Address the Feedback Youíve Received
When a retailer or restaurant tells you that they arenít interested, ask them if they can share with you insights on the reason why. Look for common themes in the feedback you receive and take steps to address it.
Do retailers commonly say that the cost of land or construction is too expensive? Consider steps the city can take to make sites ďshovel readyĒ and evaluate your current incentive policies. If retailers express concern that your market is too small, then make sure you are presenting statistics based on your drive-time trade area rather than just your political boundaries.
Continue to Build the Relationship
Sometimes, a retailer is a great fit for your market, but it simply isnít the right time for them to make the investment. Take steps to continue to build the relationship so you will be top of mind when they are ready to make a move. Connect on LinkedIn and touch base periodically to share positive economic development news from your market.
Look for Alternatives
If youíve tried the previous steps and still arenít seeing results, then itís time to start thinking creatively. Look for alternatives that help you reach your goal.
Identify similar, smaller retailers who meet the same need or encourage a local entrepreneur to start a business that fills the gap.
Consider partnering with a developer who can address retail development as part of a bigger project.
Retail recruitment doesnít happen overnight, but by developing a clear strategy, executing it effectively, and thinking creatively, you can lay the foundation for success.
Buxton is the leading customer analytics firm that helps organizations identify who their customers are, where those customers are located, and the value those customers have to the organization.
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Fort Worth, TX 76137
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