The above charts depict the income levels that shop at the indicated stores at least once a year. These are stores that are located outside Washington County, and could make good candidates for setting up a location within Washington County. Note that Washington County Median Household income in 2009 was $42,320.
In April the Washington County Economic Development Council released an on-line retail survey to Washington County residents. The intent is to measure retail spending leaking out of Washington County and identify potential retail sectors and brands to recruit into Washington County. A total of 674 residents participated in the survey.
Survey questions consisted of whether Washington County has an adequate amount of specific retail sectors to include: clothing stores, shoe stores, sporting goods stores, grocery stores, home furnishing stores, and restaurants. Next participants were given a list of stores outside of Washington County and asked to rate the frequency (once a week, once a month, once every 2 months, once every six months, or once a year) they shop at these stores. Finally, participants are given the option to write-in any stores they frequent that is not identified in the survey. Demand was identified by those who shop at stores at least once a year. A demand/location quotient measures the demand of a particular brand weighted against the nearest location of that brand to Washington County. Please note, this is not the most scientific tool to measure demand and distance for a retail product. However, since most stores are within 200 miles of Washington County it provides a basic level tool to compare brand attraction in Washington County.
Results are based on respondent’s demand or how many respondents shop at a particular store at least once a year. In addition, the demand/location quotient comparing the respondents who shop at that particular store versus the distance to the nearest location is identified in brackets (the higher the number to greater the demand pull).
Over 73% of participants stated Washington County does not have an adequate amount of clothing stores. Based on demand results the following stores are potential markets in Washington County:
Survey residents placed a lower demand for new shoe stores. Only 53.8% of respondents stated Washington County does not have an adequate amount of shoe stores. That said two stores could be potential markets in Washington County:
A majority of residents (51.4%) stated Washington County had an adequate amount of sporting goods stores. Recruiting efforts should focus on other areas for retail development.
Over 62% of participants believed Washington County did not have an adequate amount of grocery stores. Potential brands to target include:
Respondents identified a clear demand for home furnishing stores in Washington County. Over 66% stated Washington County does not have an adequate amount of home furnishing stores. Potential targets include:
Finally, 69.3% of respondents stated Washington County does not have an adequate amount of restaurants. Restaurants with a potential market in Washington County include:
The above results reflect potential retail markets and brands to attempt to recruit to Washington County. Many of the brands identified are based on actual demand identified, while other brands appear because of their demand/location quotient. Furthermore, local leaders should also consider the frequency respondents shop at a particular store. Stores that show a high preponderance of Washington County residents shopping at least once every 2 months should be considered potential targets to Washington County. It is important to note that many respondents stated they would shop at a particular store if it were closer to home – thus underscoring the importance of comparing demand with distance to nearest location. That said, also understand that the demand/location quotient is not scientific, and simply should be used as a rough comparison between brands. Finally, it is important to note the significance of brands that frequently appear in the write-in section. For a number of respondents to identify a brand in the write-in section shows a strong demand for that particular store. These stores with strong write-in votes should also be considered potential recruits to the Washington County market.