City Manager Eric Hanson said the comprehensive retail study will uncover where Indianolans spend their money, even when they’re outside of the city.
“The reason I’m excited about it is it provides us data in terms of leakage,” Hanson, said. “It provides a comprehensive view of all the retail dollars that are a) spent here and also b) dollars that are spent by residents here elsewhere. Then, it kind of gives us a very detailed description of what people are spending money on and where they’re spending their money, and it will develop a trade area map.”
The city plans to make the study accessible to all businesses that ask for it or go online.
“Any business in town, whether a national retailer or a local business on the square, is able to look at that data and then determine, within their own business model and their operation, whether or not there’s an opportunity in which they can capitalize based on now having hard data, in terms of what folks are spending money on,” Hanson said. “That is a very valuable piece of information to have.”
Results will both cover the city, as a whole, and be broken down into sections of the city. Hanson says the city will do everything it can to make sure that businesses not only have this information, but they understand it, as well.
“Obviously, we want to make sure the folks that need the data and want the data understand it, and we’ll help them do that,” Hanson said. “So whether I sit down with the Downtown Merchants Group or have a community forum or business forum, there are a number of avenues. Focus groups, one-on-one sessions, reaching out to various organizations, the chamber or the economic development group, there are a number of avenues to get that data out.”
Hanson says the study will be completed sometime in May.