- Feb 21, 2022
Along with the new Economic Strategy Commission (see related article), Village trustees soon will have input from The Retail Coach, LLC, a national retail consulting, market research, and development firm. Through data analysis of geographic consumer patterns, available retail vacancies, and other factors, The Retail Coach develops a list of “best fit” retailers for recruitment and creates marketing materials to support targeted retailers and developers.
The Retail Coach’s proposal to the Village described a multi-phase Retail360® process to identify the strengths and weakness of the community, highlighting local advantages over competing cities to attract new retail investment. The cost of the consultant’s services will be $40,000 in the first year with the option to renew for two additional years at an annual cost of $27,500 and $25,000 respectively.
Formed in 2000, The Retail Coach’s website states that the firm has worked with over 650 client communities across 40 states. It cites a wide variety of national brands as successfully matched targets. It also describes a comprehensive process that includes workshops for existing small businesses and entrepreneurs. Village President Kathryn Ciesla, Trustee Robert Israel, and Manager Cara Pavlicek met with the firm’s representatives during the Illinois Municipal League Conference in September 2021.
In recommending the contract with The Retail Coach to the Board, Manager Pavlicek cited the importance of retail sales taxes as the largest source of revenue for the Village; 31 percent of the General Fund Budget for FY 21/22 comes from sales tax. Pavlicek’s memo to the Board noted that as a retail consulting partner, The Retail Coach “utilize[s] a robust proprietary database to assist municipalities in understanding their particular retail market through data in order to establish an action plan.”
According to a joint press release, Village staff met with The Retail Coach in February to kick off the project. Representatives are expected to visit Northbrook for the first time in late February or early March.
“Northbrook has an outstanding culture of innovation and evolution,” said President Ciesla in the press release. “We also have a dynamic business community that has chosen to invest in Northbrook and is pertinent to our growth as a Village. Working with The Retail Coach will help us continue to be forward-thinking while we plan for the future and position ourselves for success.”