Locust has partnered with Retail Strategies, an Alabama-based marketing retail firm that works with towns across the country, to help attract new businesses.
The firm has worked with the city of Albemarle for many years and has also met with other municipalities like Badin in the past.
The city signed an agreement with Retail Strategies in early March, City Administrator Cesar Correa said, and the first kick0ff meeting occurred a few weeks ago.
Correa mentioned during Thursday night’s council meeting that Retail Strategies is working on a detailed real estate analysis report on the city which should help attract future businesses into the area. Correa said the report, along with a list of several potential projects, should be completed before the June council meeting.
“We’re very excited about that,” he said. “It’s going to be an opportunity for us to actually get out there and work on recruiting businesses.
“They feel very excited and optimistic that given our location, our proximity to Charlotte and current market conditions that we’re going to be successful,” Correa added.
Albemarle’s partnership with the firm has resulted in more than 200 new jobs and just under $27 million in total investment. Some of the businesses Retail Strategies has helped recruit to the city in recent years include Chick-fil-A, Dickey’s BBQ, East Coast Wings and Grill, Planet Fitness and PetSmart.
The marketing firm is also offering Retail Academy Online to educate city leaders, according to a press release. Developed by Retail Strategies, Retail Academy educates communities on best practices to attract new retail and restaurants while providing resources to support and grow existing businesses.
“Retail Academy empowers communities by providing the resources to implement successful retail recruitment strategies,” Correa said. “By combining these resources and the local knowledge that we have as a city, we believe this partnership will further our community development. We are excited to be participating in Retail Academy and receiving further education on recruiting and developing Locust.”
Correa and Councilman Rusty Efird met last week with Retail Strategies about the Retail Academy program.
“Locust is investing in the city’s future by participating in the Retail Academy online program,” said Lacey Bacchus, business developer at Retail Strategies. “City leaders are taking a proactive approach to equip the community with the tools to effectively seek out retail and businesses to Locust. Retail Strategies looks forward to getting to work.”
Retail Academy is designed to educate leaders on retail and business recruitment, real estate and small business support. As businesses and communities continue to adjust to COVID-19, Retail Academy provides local leaders the necessary tools to continue recruiting and supporting retail and restaurant businesses.