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Municipal Association Offers Retail Recruitment Training

The mix of retail options in a city or town has a profound impact on that community’s vitality, ability to attract new residents and businesses, and ability to retain the people and enterprises already there. A dedicated effort to bring in retailers can be an invaluable part of an economic development strategy, but it can also be complicated. The process can involve market analyses, the creation of recruitment packets to explain the market’s potential, and personal outreach efforts.

To help cities and towns navigate this world, the Municipal Association of SC is hosting a Retail Recruitment Training course, led by The Retail Coach, a national market research and development firm. The course will include six days of training, taking place at the Association’s office in Columbia from August to November, all ahead of the attendees using the training at the International Council of Shopping Centers’s RECon convention in December. 

“Every city official knows how critical retail recruitment is for a community. They all take part in conversations with residents about when a particular type of store is coming to town, or whether people have to drive elsewhere for shopping and dining. The value is known, but the process is often not well understood,” Todd Glover, executive director of the Municipal Association, said. “This training can help officials gain the knowledge they need to build an effective recruitment strategy and drive the retail development that their community needs.” 

Training sessions will cover the principles of retail recruitment, such as market conditions in a defined area and current commercial development trends, as well as how retailers evaluate a market and search for growth opportunities. 

Later training sessions will move into the methodologies and tools of the recruitment process, including communication and developing leads, site identification, creating site inventories and managing public expectations. Retail recruitment makes heavy use of reports on everything from demographics to attitudes and interests, as well as traffic patterns and “leakage” of customers to other communities. In addition to the training sessions, participants will receive a professional market analysis profiling their community’s critical economic attributes. 

Finally, participants will learn how to prepare for retail trade shows and network effectively when attending them. They will get a chance to put these lessons into action soon afterward, when they attend RECon from December 5 – 7, a convention featuring retailers, commercial real estate firms and contractors. 

The Municipal Association will accept applications to fill the limited number of slots for participants. 

Find the application, training cost and information on the time commitment involved with Retail Recruitment Training. For more information on the training, contact Todd Glover at tglover@masc.sc or 803.354.4788.