Retail study to show gaps, opportunities in Victoria

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

March 16, 2014 at 10:02 p.m.
Updated March 16, 2014 at 10:17 p.m.

Victoria officials hope a $53,000 retail study will pave the way for economic growth in the city.

The Retail Coach, a national retail consulting, market research and development firm, will present its findings during Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Mayor Paul Polasek is interested in hearing where the city has "leaks" in retail, he said.

"It will allow us to inform other retailers that are not present in this market that this is a good, viable market that they may have overlooked," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised to see a handful of new establishments take a long look at Victoria."

The city set aside the funding in November to pay for the study, which identifies retail gaps and opportunities. The analysis will be used to develop a retail economic development plan.

Polasek said the cost is a small investment compared to the benefits.

"The principle idea is we have to take a little effort to protect our sales tax revenue, which is significant," he said. "It's a small amount to invest considering the millions in sales tax revenue we rely on."

He is optimistic the study will encourage healthy sales tax revenue through new retailers. With the new Wal-Mart on the southeast side of town, businesses are already being attracted.

"I think it's great, and the timing of this study is good," Polasek said. "It will help draw new retailers here - whether they be goods, services, restaurants or whatever."

Councilman Jeff Bauknight said he hopes it will be a positive report.

"Our hope in doing it is that it will identify retail opportunities within the city and use it as a marketing tool to attract new development," he said.

Although he said he is not a big shopper and is happy with the city's current offerings, he is aware many people travel out of town to take care of their shopping.

Let's see "if there's something we can bring to town that will be a viable option as opposed to having people go out of town or shop online," he said.



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