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By Robert Connors
Managing Editor 

City Funds Recruitment Effort to Attract New Businesses

Retail Strategies Firm Will Market Lake Wales to National Chains


Last updated 10/27/2022 at 12:01pm

Courtesy Retail Strategies

Retail Strategies has outlined a Lake Wales market area with a growing population of 80,000. They expect to be able to attract new retail and restaurant chains to the Lake Wales area through strategic direct marketing to the identified target firms.

A concerted effort to attract new businesses to Lake Wales now includes the hiring of a consulting firms to help market the area to prospective retail and restaurant chains. The plan has been approved by the city commission, and work on the recruitment is expected to begin shortly.

Calling it a "strategic plan for recruitment," City Manager James Slaton explained that the $40,000 contract with Retail Strategies "absolutely compliments efforts by the city and the Lake Wales Chamber/EDC.

"They will develop a strategic plan and execute it hand-in-hand with the EDC," Slaton told "They know the requirements of individual retailers," he said, adding that the firm, based in Fort Worth, Texas and Birmingham, Alabama, has "access to data and resources" unavailable to either local organization.

The proposal from Retail Strategies outlined a local market with a population of 80,000 and a two percent growth rate.

The firm stated that their initial analysis of the Lake Wales market showed some $330 million being spent on goods and services outside of the market by area residents each year due to lack of local services. They also identified more than ten businesses that they believe will locate to communities of this size that have yet to arrive.

The firm is expected to conduct detailed analysis of the market, including vacant and underutilized properties, and bring that information to conferences and directly to potential new businesses.

Retail Strategies uses a nine-point approach to their efforts, which include "gap analysis, mobile data collection, trade area identification, consumer spending patterns, retail void analysis, peer community analysis, business recruitment categories, psychographic analysis, and real estate analysis.

Slaton said that since the firm knows the requirements of the individual retailers, "they can match us with those where we fit the requirements."


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