Close this search box.
Press Release

Lafayette Economic Development Authority to Empower Mayors and Staff through Retail Academy for Regional Retail Attraction


CONTACT: Katelyn Little
Retail Strategies

BIRMINGHAM, AL (January 17, 2024) – Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA) is proud to announce a groundbreaking initiative aimed at advancing retail development across the Parish. On February 23, mayors from six communities in Lafayette Parish, along with LEDA staff, will participate in the Retail Academy — a program designed to equip elected officials and economic development professionals with the tools and knowledge needed to attract new retail and restaurant brands to their respective cities.

Mandi Mitchell, LEDA President & CEO, underscores the importance of this educational effort, stating, “Retail development is a unique facet of economic growth, distinct from traditional economic development strategies. By partnering with our mayors and their staff through the Retail Academy, we are ensuring that our communities have the expertise required to actively entice retail and restaurant brands to choose Lafayette Parish as their home.”

“Retail is an important pillar of the Lafayette Parish economy as Lafayette serves as a major hub for consumers from across the entire Acadiana Region. This regional approach will amplify our collective efforts to bolster economic vitality in Lafayette and across the entire region.”

Mandi Mitchell, President and CEO, LEDA

The Retail Academy will be a collaborative effort involving LEDA and six cities within Lafayette Parish: Broussard, Carencro, Duson , Lafayette, Scott, and Youngsville. Through this program, participants will gain insights into the nuances of retail attraction and effective ways to engage potential retail partners.

Lacey Bacchus, Senior Director of Community Partnerships at Retail Strategies, emphasized the significance of weaving retail into an overarching economic development strategy. “Retail is a key driver of economic vitality, and its integration into the broader economic development framework is important. Taking a regional approach to retail economic development will provide the most successful and impactful results for the Parish. By collaborating with LEDA and the participating cities, our goal is to enhance the retail landscape in Lafayette Parish and strengthen its position within the state of Louisiana. Retail Academy represents a vital step towards fostering a thriving and resilient local economy.”

About Lafayette Economic Development Authority

LEDA is dedicated to fostering economic growth and a rich quality of life in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. LEDA’s vision and mission are rooted in leveraging the community’s favorable business climate and ‘joie de vivre’ to position Lafayette as a desirable location for both new and expanding businesses and talented individuals.

For more information visit,

retail academy logo

About Retail Academy

Retail Academy is a program developed from the leading national retail advisory firm, Retail Strategies. The program assists communities in strengthening their retail landscape. Communities will be trained and equipped with the tools and education necessary to attract new retailers to their markets, while providing support to their existing local businesses.

About Retail Strategies

Retail Strategies is the national expert in community development and retail economic development. Our mission is to provide the real estate expertise, tools, and human effort that position deserving towns as alluring locations for national businesses and destinations for tourism and quality-of-life amenities. We confidently pursue this mission by delivering unparalleled customer service as a unified team with unmatched real estate and community development expertise. Our activities pay a return in sales taxes, added jobs, and businesses that enhance and add to the unique qualities of your community.

What do you need?

Recent Posts

150 Retailers & Restaurants


Retailer earings predict your community’s sales tax benefit. Check out the list!