Davie County – A Picturesque Community with Small Town Charm and Big City Potential.
“Davie County continues a remarkable economic recovery, and we have had tremendous success attracting international manufacturing giants including Ashley Furniture, CPP Global, Dex/Volvo, Dunlop Tyre, and Gildan Activewear,“ said Terry Bralley, President of the Davie County Economic Development Commission. “The Davie County Economic Development Commission believes it is now time to direct some of our attention to growing our retail base.”
“We realized as a small community, but with a terrific location connected to a major interstate, we needed the help of an outside professional to assist us with attracting those larger retailers that will help minimize sales leakage, fill vacant storefronts and lots, and expand our retail options,” he added. “We hired the Retail Coach to help us develop and implement a retail sales plan for the entire county. The EDC has invited the towns of Bermuda Run, Cooleemee, and Mocksville, and the Chamber of Commerce to actively engage in the process. We believe this retail plan is another way to add value to the county and will help us grow our future.”
“Our goal is to recruit more retail, restaurants, and entertainment to Davie County to offer our residents more opportunities to buy clothing, electronics, or whatever they need locally; to retain the businesses and restaurants already here; and to keep our current shopping centers and districts vibrant while developing new centers,” said Bralley.
Davie County’s close proximity to the Charlotte and Winston-Salem markets, easy access to Interstate 40, and regional draw due to Wake Forest Baptist Health- Davie Medical Center, make it a prime spot for expanding retail and restaurant options.
Carolyn McManamy, President of the Davie County Chamber of Commerce, is excited about what this project means for the community. “In 2013, the Davie Chamber launched the iSHOPDAVIE shop local program to draw attention to the importance of supporting local businesses and the impact shopping local has on the Davie economy and our quality of life,” she said. “Working with the Retail Coach will provide us with the right tools to attract new retail and restaurants that compliment what is already here. It will also offer useful information and assistance to our existing businesses to help them grow their customer base and increase their profitability. We know that having more shopping and dining options here in Davie County means more jobs and increased sales tax revenues both of which are vital to a thriving local economy, and that is our ultimate goal!” said McManamy.
The Retail Coach, a retail recruitment and consulting firm, is a pioneer of the retail recruitment industry. With clients in 29 states and 86% repeat clients, The Retail Coach uses their expertise to help communities reach their goals.
During a meeting with The Retail Coach leadership, officials from Bermuda Run said their goals for the partnership include expanding retail near Wake Forest Baptist Health and Davie Medical Center to give citizens and hospital-goers more retail choices. Mocksville officials said they would like to expand their retail base as a whole, while also putting a focus on their vibrant downtown. Cooleemee officials would like more retailers for everyday conveniences.
To achieve these goals, The Retail Coach will begin by determining a Retail Trade Area, or the area from which the county receives most of its consumers. This includes interviewing retailers and community stakeholders and plotting point-of-sale data. Next, the team will conduct a demographic analysis for both the county and the Retail Trade Area. This is followed by a Gap Analysis, used to identify sales leakage to other communities. Using this and similar data, the team will make a target list of retailers and restaurants that would be a good fit in Davie County.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Davie County in this process. Our team has already been on the ground and sees unique opportunities for Bermuda Run, Mocksville, and Cooleemee. Our Retail Trade Area determination and Retail Gap Analysis process will help these opportunities stand out to potential retailers, restaurants, and developers,” said The Retail Coach Vice President Aaron Farmer, who will be Davie County’s point-of-contact with the company, along with Director—Retail Strategy Scott Emison.
Both appreciative and excited about the opportunities that a focus on retail will bring to the community. Will Marklin, Mayor of Mocksville, said “Any time we can discover new ways to support and grow our local economy it is exciting! We are most appreciative of EDC to have the opportunity to work with The Retail Coach. Their ability to create resources of potential new retail and provide data to support and promote our existing retail will be time well spent in Mocksville.”
John Chandler, Cooleemee Town Clerk, is eager to see new businesses locate in Cooleemee. “It is good for an outside group to see us as we are and to assess our needs in regards to economic growth,” he said. “We sit around here brainstorming about what we need in our community as far as retail, but that is usually the end of it. We look forward to the Retail Coach contacting potential businesses that would consider our area.”