Original Article  by Lisa Dunlap May 8, 2019

Roswell has a lot of “leakage” of consumer dollars from regular shoppers who go outside the city to purchase food, clothing and other goods, says Casey Kidd, chief executive officer of NaviRetail, a retail consultant development for the Roswell/Chaves County Economic Development Corp. He is seen making a presentation in Roswell Monday. A site selector for a national retail brand also provided feedback about the local area. (Submitted Photo)

Data shows what type of retail dollars go elsewhere.

Frequent Roswell shoppers could use more options when it comes to restaurants and clothing stores.

That was one of the findings of data collection and analysis presented by NaviRetail LLC at a Monday workshop.

The Tennessee-based company is a consultant for the city of Roswell and the Roswell/Chaves County Economic Development Corp. to help bring new retailers to the area, which in turn could attract more employers and increase tax revenues.

“It is interesting that someone who spoke out, I don’t remember who, said they didn’t think the area needed another restaurant,” Kidd said. “What we do have is the data that shows that people spent money on food outside the city limits that were here on a frequent basis. Why they didn’t eat here is yet to be known, but what we do know is they did spend those dollars.”

According to the data presented by Kidd, shoppers who were considered regular retail consumers in Roswell, whether they originated from Roswell or a larger “total retail area” studied, spent $25.78 million outside Roswell for restaurants during the study period.

That was the second-highest “leakage” spot when looking at the total retail market. The No. 1 spot was clothing, with $28.9 million in leakage.

The other two high-leakage areas were building supply stores, with $17.98 million going to other cities, and sporting goods stores, with $13.7 million spent elsewhere.

The information is gathered from various sources, including cellphone data, credit card information and mapping and geographical information systems.

The total retail area consists of a primary area and a secondary area. The primary area around Roswell and Artesia is where Roswell gets 70% to 80% of its regular shoppers, people who buy goods here four to five times a week. The secondary area extends farther to the north and south, including Carlsbad. This area is where 10% to 20% of Roswell shoppers come from, although they might travel here to shop only periodically.

The total retail area has a population of about 238,065 and an annual average household income of $59,086, including $48,000 in disposable income, according to the NaviRetail data.

In addition to relying on such information, Kidd and EDC staff also drove around Roswell with a site selector for a national retail brand. Kidd said the person and the company for which he works could not be identified.

Kidd said the site selector emphasized the need for coordination among economic developers, land developers and potential retailers. Kidd also said that having a community supportive of growth is important.

“It is not like the retail site selector has a shirt on that says, ‘I am a site selector looking for a site,’” he said. “But they might show up in a coffee shop or a restaurant and start asking questions, and the last thing they want to hear is anything negative. And being on the same page about the future of Roswell is really what is going to push this process along.”

Another highlight of the information gathered, according to Kidd, is that retail shoppers want a “one-stop” location for their retail needs.

“When they get here, the one thing that they want to see is, ‘Hey, I drove an hour and a half to get here, so I really wish I could get everything I need on the one trip.’ So one thing we could do is bring them more options,” he said.

With data gathered and analyzed, NaviRetail and Economic Development Corp. staff will provide information to retailers to entice them to locate their next sites here. Kidd said they will work with potential new retailers in the local market as well as attend the major trade shows where national retailers and developers congregate.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.



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