Newberry, South Carolina, is a charming rural community nestled in the heart of central South Carolina. Situated about 40 miles from the bustling state capital, Columbia, the city boasts a picturesque setting, surrounded by scenic landscapes and a welcoming atmosphere. Conveniently located off Interstate 26, Newberry has strategically positioned itself to attract visitors and investors alike.
As a small, rural southern town with limited staff, city leadership relied on local landowners and developers to bring new businesses to the community. Retail development was hit or miss, and the city didn’t have the resources and didn’t make a concerted, sustained effort to attract expanding retailers.
Selecting a Team of Experts
“I went to an Electricities of North Carolina meeting and saw Lacy Beasley speak,” said Mayor Senn. “She talked about other towns similar to ours that were having success landing new retail through Retail Strategies and that resonated with our needs.”
Without a full-time retail economic development recruiter, Mayor Senn asked Retail Strategies to present its retail recruitment services to Council and the relationship formed from there.
“Retail Strategies proved that they had skills, ability, connections, and expertise that we didn’t have on our staff, so we chose to partner with them,” stated the Mayor.
Boots on the Ground
Newberry wasn’t initially on the radar of many national retail and restaurant companies. However, things took a positive turn when Retail Strategies began representing the city and its available retail real estate sites at regional and national conferences. This proactive approach led to a surge in interest within the market.
“Retail Strategies introduced us to conferences like ICSC Southeast, of which we were previously unaware,” said Mayor Senn. “Their comprehensive post-conference reports have proven to be immensely valuable, providing detailed insights into the interactions they had with retail companies during the event. Their feedback on our market’s potential is pragmatic and constructive.”
“Receiving clear feedback, whether it’s a ‘yes’ or a ‘no,’ is immensely valuable for both me and the Council. These reports offer an authentic perspective on our community, and Retail Strategies excels in presenting innovative ideas that haven’t crossed our minds. Their expertise in identifying companies in growth mode and advocating on our behalf has been commendable.”
“We were unaware of Starbucks’ interest in establishing a presence in Newberry until Retail Strategies informed us about it. Thanks to their valuable insight, we were able to showcase suitable sites within the city to accommodate Starbucks. This opportunity arose during a trade show, demonstrating Retail Strategies’ effectiveness in bringing promising prospects to our attention,” stated Senn.
Success in the City
To date Starbucks, Firehouse Subs, Mighty Dollar, Papa John’s, Big Lots, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Harbor Freight Tools, Burke’s Outlet, Taco Bell, and Huddle House have all opened locations in the market.
“Every year our retail has grown with retail with the help of Starbucks and Firehouse,” said Mayor Senn. “I think for a small town, this is very good. We are not a suburb – we’re rural and have seen good, steady progress. We appreciate Retail Strategies being a part of that.”
“We have found Retail Strategies to be very helpful to Newberry, they have contacts that we don’t have and that has proved very beneficial. We consider Retail Strategies as part of our team – we’re doing our part in the city and the momentum carries together. They bring in expertise and talent that can really help us succeed and attract businesses that our citizens desire.”
Beyond Retail Recruitment
Real Estate Consulting
“Retail Strategies talks to specific property owners, providing them with specific ideas for enhancing their properties in both the main retail corridor and downtown, and that has been met with a highly positive response,” said Mayor Senn. “I’ve found they will talk to anyone in the community that we ask them to talk to – they aren’t afraid to pick up the phone and reach out when needed.”
Walgreens closed their Newberry store and Retail Strategies was about to call and speak with the property owner who lives out of state to try and find out what their plans are for the space.
“Property owners that are out of state are more likely to talk with Retail Strategies because they are experts in commercial real estate. The partnership isn’t solely national representation, but its local advice and consultation,” finished Senn.