Retail Coach Report Forecasts Opportunities in Northbrook

Retail Coach Report Forecasts Opportunities in Northbrook

Detailed data compiled for the Village of Northbrook provides both an in-depth review of the community’s current composition and a glimpse of areas for potential new growth. A report from consultant The Retail Coach, LLC, available on the Village website, is a resource for current businesses and a recruiting tool to attract new retail investment. 

The Village retained The Retail Coach’s services in March 2022 to bolster the community’s efforts to draw new retailers.  The Village Manager’s memo to the Board explained that The Retail Coach would use a proprietary database to perform a market analysis that would then inform an action plan. The analysis that has been published is the first step of a multi-layer process to support successful business recruitment. 

The report opens with a general community overview that notes Northbrook’s appeal as a retail destination. The Village is described as “a thriving, progressive community and home to several corporate headquarters, an upscale mall, a charming downtown, and several public transit resources.” The overview also highlights unique assets in Northbrook’s economy, including its geographic advantage of being between two interstate expressways, supporting “robust” commercial and industrial districts. 

Following the overview, the report provides a deep dive into demographics on the local level, as well as primary and secondary trade areas from which Northbrook attracts shoppers. Each section analyzes the covered population by a wide variety of categories, including income, age, education, ancestry, home ownership, and much more. Data is drawn from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, ESRI, and additional sources identified in the report.

Primary Trade Area is usually defined as the geographic area in which between 55% and 70% of customers originate, while Secondary Trade Area represents a further 15-20%. The Retail Coach report defines Northbrook’s primary retail trade area’s borders as Highland Park on the north, Milwaukee Avenue on the west, and Morton Grove on the south. The secondary retail trade area expands those borders north to Lake Bluff, west to Arlington Heights, and south to Lincolnwood and Rogers Park. The total population encompassed by these areas is  approximately 962,000 – a figure that demonstrates the value of being a regional retail destination in terms of potential sales tax revenue. 

The report further identifies specific types of retail businesses that are expected to see growing demand in the next five years. Retail businesses, including restaurants and bars, are forecast to grow in demand overall by 1.96% in Northbrook’s primary trade area between now and 2027. Examples of categories that are expected to grow above that average include sporting goods stores (3.81%), motorcycle and other motor vehicles other than cars (3.29%), gas stations (2.62%), and building material dealers (2.55%). On the other hand, clothing stores are predicted to see small declines in demand. These forecasts, combined with a compilation of existing businesses in the Village, highlight opportunities for potential investment to fill gaps where consumers might be lost to other destinations. 

Next steps involve making connections between Northbrook stakeholders and best-fit retailers. “Armed with this data, the Village is working with The Retail Coach to provide information about brands to recruit to leasing agents in locations where vacancies or redevelopment opportunities are possible, as well as contacting targeted brands about existing vacancies,” explains Village Manager Cara Pavlicek. 

Questions can be directed to Deputy Director of Development and Planning Services Chan Yu at (847) 664-4057.