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Retail Strategies Service Helps Municipalities Invest In Future

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Retail Strategies Service Helps Municipalities Invest In Future

When it comes to national retailers and commercial services, Cookeville Economic Development Coordinator Melinda Keifer said that story-telling plays a key role in attracting them.

Keifer said that’s why a service like Retail Strategies is a huge benefit to the city, because it tells the city’s story using data-driven points.

“And we’ve all driven through parking lots here I Cookeville and you see license plates from around the region and from out of state,” Keifer said. “And it’s one thing for a Melinda to tell that story, and it’s quite another when I have the data to back it up.”

Keifer said that the city has utilized Retail Strategies for several years. She said it collects everything from the population, traffic patterns, retail patterns, and cellphone tower data to help retailers and restaurants understand how profitable a location in the area could be for them.

Keifer said that it does not track personal data, but uses things like the swipe of a credit card to see where money is being spent.

Keifer said that as a sales-tax-driven state, it’s important to bring in retailers and commercial services to keep the money close to home.

“And a community that can have a strong retail foundation is what picks up the trash and pays our police officers and paves our roads and keeps our schools open,” Keifer said. “Tennessee is a sales-tax driven state, it keeps our property taxes low, so I think it’s critically important to try and maintain as much of that as you can so that those dollars aren’t going to another community 60 miles down the road, because every time you spend a dollar outside your community, that community is getting the benefit of the sales tax. So anything we can do to minimize the leakage, the return on that investment is exponential.”


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