The Retail Coach launches Gypsum business promotion to locate, attract new retailers
GYPSUM — As it looks to 2018 and beyond, the town of Gypsum envisions having a bigger retail presence in the Vail Valley.
Beginning this month, the town is taking concrete steps toward realizing that goal.
On Tuesday night, Nov. 28, Aaron Farmer, of The Retail Coach, met with members of the Gypsum Town Council to introduce himself and his plan to promote the community to new retailers and restaurateurs.
The Retail Coach, a national group based out of Mississippi, will work closely with Gypsum officials to identify market-feasible local and regional retail opportunities and develop a retail development strategy for the community. Earlier in November, the town council approved a 12-month, not-to-exceed $40,000 contract with the firm.
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“Part of this process is really understanding who the Gypsum consumer is,” Farmer said.
Farmer said his site visit to Gypsum this week will help the company “become an expert in your market.” And, he noted, Gypsum’s market is a bit unique because it is driven by a big-box operation that has a very wide reach — Costco.
Through cellphone analysis, Farmer said The Retail Coach can track who is shopping at the Gypsum Costco. The data is intriguing.
Farmer noted that shoppers at the Gypsum Costco come from all around the globe, reflecting the nature of its location near an airport that serves one of the world’s top ski resorts. But by digging a bit deeper, the company found that customers that make three or more trips to the store every month generally come from the Interstate 70 corridor ranging from Grand Junction to Denver. Shoppers who visit the store five or more times a month are more likely to hail from western Colorado.
“People are coming from a further distance to shop here,” Farmer said.
He noted that information is important because it will help determine primary and secondary trade areas for Gypsum, and that information can be leveraged to find other retailers for the community.
“Retailers want to know if there is money to be made here,” Farmer said.
Identification and Recruiting
Other study areas for The Retail Coach will involve identifying development or redevelopment options and recruitment efforts.
“We want to have a database of what is available,” Farmer said. He noted the availability of development sites is a critical component of a commercial outreach program.
Finally, once the company has compiled Gypsum’s retail profile and site database, The Retail Coach will aid the community in business recruitment.
“We are going to identify restaurants and retailers that aren’t here in this community, but should be,” Farmer said.
Additional recruiting efforts will include creating marketing materials for developers, retailers and brokers and representing Gypsum at large industry conferences such as the International Council of Shopping Centers.
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It’s fitting that Eagle County is proceeding through its reopening phases of COVID-19 in an analogy to ski run difficulties — green to blue to black. Monday marks the transition from the green beginner phase to the blue intermediate phase.