Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Victoria has direction for development
By the Advocate Editorial Board
March 22, 2014 at 4 p.m.
Updated March 21, 2014 at 10:22 p.m.
As Victoria grows, our economy is experiencing some changes. Over the years, our town has seen major retailers and restaurants come and go. Now, with all of the growth spurred by the Eagle Ford Shale activity, the coming of Caterpillar and other developments, Victoria needs some direction to help plan its continued growth.
At the last Victoria City Council meeting, the results of a retail study conducted by The Retail Coach showed that the Victoria area is losing approximately $1.1 billion in business. The top five categories in which Victoria experienced leakages were food and beverage stores, food service and drinking places, non-store retailers, grocery stores and supermarkets.
The number 1.1 billion is overwhelming and a definite cause for concern when looked at as one big chunk. Thankfully, the presentation at the City Council meeting made it clear that this is a fixable problem. During the meeting, Aaron Farmer, vice president of The Retail Coach, said if the city can address 10 to 20 percent of the leakage every two years, the effort can be considered a success.
This report, while definitely a shock to the system, offers an important perspective on the state of Victoria's current economy. The study showed that $1.5 billion will be spent over 12 months in Victoria. That means that almost half of the money Victoria businesses could be earning is going to other cities such as San Antonio, Houston or Corpus Christi.
We are grateful for this study, which has helped identify weaknesses in our hometown economy. With this as our starting point, Victoria officials and businesses can take steps to improve and attract more customers. This information serves as both a wake-up call and a starting point for our hometown economy, and we look forward to seeing what steps will be taken in response. Thanks to this study, we have a more in-depth perspective on which opportunities Victoria should pursue, such as more grocery store or restaurant options, and which areas are strongest.
We applaud Victoria's leadership for making this investment. It's difficult to make positive changes if you do not possess the correct information to guide your decisions. This study and the continued efforts of The Retail Coach will help Victoria cultivate a better, more diverse economy that will attract shoppers from all over the Crossroads. Thank you for investing in our community. We look forward to seeing what improvements will develop.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.