Retail study details local challenges, opportunities - hccommunityjournal.com: Home

Retail study details local challenges, opportunities

Posted: Saturday, May 19, 2018 12:00 am

A new retail study commissioned by the City of Kerrville estimates that the city may be losing up to $832 million each year in potential retail sales. The study was initiated as an early action item for Kerrville 2050 and was included in current draft action plans developed by Kerrville 2050 subcommittees.

Kerrville City Council listened Tuesday night as Aaron Farmer, senior vice president of the consulting firm The Retail Coach, detailed the findings of the recent study, which revealed that Kerrville and the surrounding trade area generates as much as $776 million in actual retail sales each year.

“There are 101,000 people that live within (Kerrville’s) trade area,” Farmer said. “That’s 101,000 people that are shopping and eating in Kerrville on a regular basis, so obviously (your trade area) is larger than the city limits.”

While those sales numbers are impressive, Farmer said they could be higher if Kerrville can attract additional retailers and stop “leakage,” or sales that migrate to other cities because of a lack of retail opportunities locally. The Retail Coach study looked at 75 different types of businesses, from clothing stores to restaurants, and determined that Kerrville could be losing up to $832 million annually in leakage as area citizens spend their money online and in other cities with larger retail options.

Farmer said that while larger retailers have traditionally overlooked Kerrville, it may simply be because they are unaware of the city’s purchasing strength, According to Farmer, the average household income in Kerrville is $71,000, and the average net worth in Kerrville’s primary retail trade area is $874,310 - numbers that, when combined, potential retail developers should find attractive.

“Those numbers are significant and well above the state average,” Farmer said. “One of the things I think retail developers have overlooked is that net worth. This will be a powerful number and a good number to use.”

Farmer pointed out that Kerrville already is a regional retail destination with stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot, Walmart and Belks, as well as a number of restaurants and fast-food outlets. He suggested that the city form a marketing committee specifically dedicated to attracting retail developers to the area, noting that there is no competition to the west of town – a fact that potential developers should find encouraging.

In its study, The Retail Coach also looked at five retail submarkets within Kerrville – downtown, Sidney Baker Street North, Sidney Baker Street South, Junction Highway and the I-10 corridor.

Farmer suggested the city pay close attention to the Junction Highway/ Harper Road area, where traffic counts are highest, and the I-10 entrance into town when marketing the city.

“To many potential consumers, the only view they have of Kerrville is the Interstate 10 corridor,” Farmer said. “We want to encourage you to continue investing in way-finding and marketing efforts to help drive customers to other areas of Kerrville.

“There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity in Kerrville,” Farmer added. “It’s been overlooked in the past.”

The Retail Coach study was commissioned as Kerrville continues planning for its future with the Kerrville 2050 Comprehensive Plan.