Wolfforth EDC signs on with retail recruiter
Wolfforth leaders believe the town is ready for more retail, and they are investing money in a national retail recruitment and development consulting firm to make it happen.
Mike Wright, president of the Wolfforth Economic Development Corp., said the EDC looked into hiring consultants years ago, but didn’t feel the time was right.
“We had considered this previously, but we didn’t really feel like we had the retail space to market,” Wolfforth City Manager Darrell Newsom said.
But earlier this month, The Retail Coach and the Wolfforth EDC announced the consultant will conduct a market assessment and develop strategies to recruit retail developers and retailers to Wolfforth.
Newsom said the consultant’s goal of recruiting commercial developers to the town made the deal more appealing to the city leaders. Stores often look at developments rather than cities, he said.
Wright said with the expansion of the Marsha Sharp Freeway to Wolfforth, the question is not if Wolfforth will grow, but when. But he said it is important to members of the EDC that the first businesses they bring in be top quality.
“We don’t want to turn business down, but we want to be really careful what we do bring, because we’ve got to live with it,” he said. “We want to make it nice.”
The consultants will conduct a retail trade area determination and a retail gap and opportunity analysis. The analysis will go through 52 retail categories in Wolfforth and find out which ones are exhibiting deficiencies or leakages.
To find out where shoppers in Wolfforth are coming from, The Retail Coach will do a license plate survey. They will also conduct interviews with existing retailers to assess the current retail environment.
The firm’s findings will be used to recruit retail developers and businesses that are most likely to be successful in Wolfforth. The findings will also be presented to local businesses during a free workshop to be announced by the city of Wolfforth in the future.
Wright said the EDC is interested in The Retail Coach’s ability to help the city recruit commercial developers. A lot of land in Wolfforth is owned by speculators, not developers, he said, and those people are looking to sell.
The consulting firm also has the contacts to bring businesses to the city.
“It still gets back to, a lot of times, it’s who you know,” Wright said.
The EDC is paying $30,000 for the two-year project.
“I would have thought it would have been twice or three times that much. I was really surprised by the cost,” Wright said. “Laying some of this groundwork for the future, this is an investment.”
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