Columbia Selects Retail Recruitment Firm

Columbia Selects Retail Strategies Recruitment Firm
Posted on 08/17/2020
City Seal

The City of Columbia, in partnership with the Columbia Industrial Development Board, has selected Retail Strategies, LLC., the leading national retail recruitment firm, to create and execute a retail recruitment strategy for Columbia, Tennessee. Retail Strategies will focus on recruiting retail, restaurants, and other commercial development while looking to backfill vacancies in the city’s trade areas.

Darlene Baxter, a member of the Columbia Industrial Development Board, worked closely with the City selection committee to choose and propose a three-year engagement with Retail Strategies. “In proposing that the Columbia Industrial Development Board select Retail Strategies to represent the City in retail promotion and recruitment, the selection committee felt that the firm has the expertise, skilled staff and retail industry contacts to help position Columbia for a brighter retail future,” said Baxter.

“Columbia is projected to grow nearly 10% during the next five years,” said Mayor Chaz Molder. “We believe that our city will benefit from additional resources devoted to retail development that position us as an ideal ‘livability’ city, attracting new residents and a variety of new businesses. Having a team of professionals working on behalf of the city to fully focus on all aspects of real estate development and retail recruitment is going to move our city forward, providing our citizens with more retail choices and opportunities to shop, eat and buy locally.”

Assistant City Manager Thad Jablonski will serve as the city’s contact with Retail Strategies. Retail and restaurant recruitment was identified by the Columbia City Council during development of the City’s 2020 Strategic Plan. The project was taken up by the Columbia Industrial Development Board with a focus on their mission to enhance and promote economic development in Columbia. In addition to new retail support along key retail corridors, Retail Strategies also plans to provide support to Downtown Columbia businesses. The company has worked with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development since 2016, working closely with the Tennessee MainStreet Program and the state’s Main Street communities.

“We understand the need for a proactive retail recruitment strategy,” said Jablonski. “A lively and growing retail base is a quality of life value-add for Columbia citizens and visitors with the additional benefit of providing the city a return on investment through sales tax revenue. We believe that Retail Strategies will be able to reach and tell our story in a way that is attractive to new, incoming businesses.”

Through the new partnership, Retail Strategies will perform a real estate market analysis of the businesses located in Columbia and identify areas of opportunity with expanding businesses. The Retail Strategies team will work hand-in-hand with city leaders to help them understand their market and highlight opportunities for infill – the process of filling existing vacant retail spaces. In addition, the team at Retail Strategies will proactively reach out to potential businesses, property owners, brokers, and developers on behalf of the city.

“It is our fundamental belief that investment in retail recruitment services is a critical component to a municipality’s holistic economic development plan,” said Lacy Beasley, President of Retail Strategies. “Columbia is underserved without enough local retail and restaurant options. Nearly every category we reviewed shows a retail market leakage.  Through this partnership, it’s our goal to reverse that trend and keep the dollars at home. We applaud Mayor Molder, Assistant City Manager Thad Jablonski and Columbia’s Industrial Development Board for understanding this and taking action.” 

Columbia is a business-friendly city and customer service is our number one priority. If you are planning to open a new business, relocate a business from an existing site, or expand your operations, our city staff members are prepared to assist you every step of the way. In Columbia we believe economic development is not just one person's job, it's everyone's business.

About Retail Strategies

Retail Strategies is a leading national advisory firm focused on retail market analysis, strategic planning, retail recruitment and development. Our mission is to provide the real estate expertise, tools and human effort that position deserving towns as alluring locations for national businesses. With confidence, we pursue this mission by delivering unparalleled customer service as a unified team with unmatched real estate expertise. Our activities pay a return in sales taxes, added jobs, and businesses that enhance and add to the unique qualities of your community.