Big numbers, opportunity: Data shows many shop here, but plenty of room for growing local retail

Published 2:33 am Friday, July 27, 2018

An average of 143,767 consumers shop in the local market more than once per month.

But they don’t spend all of their disposable income here, which leaves room for additional retailers, and for local retailers to grow their businesses.

That’s the “gap analysis” message Casey Kidd of NaviRetail delivered to about 25 local business people who attended a seminar at the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce Thursday morning.

The City of Andalusia and the Chamber partnered with NaviRetail to provide retail analytics and consulting services for effective retail recruiting strategies. The Memphis-based economic development agency specializes in using data analytics for retail recruitment. Thursday’s workshop was designed to help locals understand the demographics and mindset of those who shop here.

Kidd said his firm used data from cell phones and credit card use to determine Andalusia’s retail trade area. It stretches from Enterprise to Greenville, Evergreen, Brewton and Florala. And those consumers spent $1.2 billion in other markets.

“The goal is to recapture that,” Kidd said. “If they’re having to go somewhere else to buy, you need to be selling that product.”

Data showed that the average household income in the trade area is $54,428, with an average disposable income of $44,557.

“In Mississippi, we would kill for this,” Kidd said. “These are big numbers, especially for a small town. These consumers have money to spend, they just can’t spend 100 percent of these dollars in Andalusia.”

In addition to demographics, the company pulls psychographics, to determine how customers spend money. They looked at 67 total segments of retail.

Local consumers are much more concerned with cost than quality, he said.

A detailed analysis of shopping data shows the area in red as Andalusia’s retail trade area. The data shows that 143,767 people shop in Andalusia more than once per month.

“Maybe instead of putting all of your name brand goods in the window of the store, you should put your best deal in the window of the store,” he said. “I visited a store not long ago that had a rack of Under Armour sitting outside, which is usually where you see sale racks. The whole rack was at full price, down to a size 3T for about $30.

“That’s the opposite of what you should be doing. Put your 75 percent off at the rack on the street. It’s not that you don’t have customers who will buy those name brand goods, you just need to put your best deal on .”

The psychographics of the local market also show that the

• Like coupons

• Buy American

• Are more inclined toward do it yourself projects than the average consumer

• Don’t necessarily have the latest technology

• The market cannot be reached by social media alone; Newspapers, television and radio are still effective mediums for local consumers.

• Prefer low-cost family restaurants, and spend $30 to $40 for a family to eat out. “This could be by default, because it’s what’s available,” Kid said.

• Of the consumers shopping here, 83,828 dined at a steakhouse in the past six months.

• Hardee’s and Captain D’s are abnormally popular, and capture 260 percent  more business than in most markets.

Kidd said most business owners don’t want competition, but he believes competition helps.

“I can’t emphasize it enough,” he said.