Rogers County, Oklahoma

Driving Economic Growth

When sales tax is king, a focus must be placed on attracting new retail and restaurant businesses. Limited staff resources led to outsourcing retail recruitment and new businesses opening.

Rogers County

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Retail Compliments Industrial Development

The Need for Retail Sales

The Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority (CIEDA) plays a vital role in driving economic growth for Claremore and Rogers County, Oklahoma, focusing on job attraction, retention, and bolstering sales tax revenues. Recognizing the critical importance of sales tax revenue, John Feary, City Manager for Claremore, emphasized the necessity of strategic retail recruitment efforts to complement industrial development, highlighting the symbiotic relationship between retail amenities and industrial growth.

“Oklahoma is the only state in the nation that requires its cities to fund its operations 100% from sales tax, so sales tax is king. Retail is extremely competitive, so the need to be armed with the right information was extremely important to me from the beginning,” said John Feary, City Manager for Claremore.

Key areas of focus

Attracted major retailers Tractor Supply, ALDI, Wendy’s, and Tropical Smoothie.

Retail Strategies did a deep dive on the market to outline a real picture of what the market could support.

The county showed a tremendous amount of grocery leakage and after years of negotiation ALDI opened its doors in 2021.

Selecting the Right Partner

In 2017, John sought a partner to analyze consumer behavior in Claremore and Rogers County and devise a targeted retail recruitment strategy. “After interviewing several firms, Retail Strategies stood out for their people and quality of service,” said John. The Retail Strategies team promptly immersed themselves in the County’s retail and real estate landscape, meeting with property owners and evaluating sites for retail development.

“Retail Strategies did a deep dive and said, ‘Here’s what your community has to offer as far as wants and needs, and then here are the retailers that fit that.’ Instead of spending our time on companies that aren’t a good fit, we’re intentional with our efforts. It increases our chances of a win,” explained Feary.

"After interviewing several firms, Retail Strategies stood out for their people and quality of service. They aren’t just giving me data so that I can make cold calls. It’s continuous dialogue."
John Feary
City Manager, Claremore, Oklahoma

Retail Recruitment Impact

Tractor Supply is adding a location in the county, which will bring about 15 new jobs to the area. “Rogers County is largely agricultural, so adding a Tractor Supply is huge,” said Feary. “Tractor Supply only needs about four acres of land but purchased 18 acres, so the plan is to develop that with additional retail.”

The county also showed a tremendous amount of grocery leakage. After years of negotiation ALDI opened its doors in 2021.

“To help strategically market our area to interested businesses, CIEDA partners with a national retail consultant, Retail Strategies. Their support has been responsible for helping to attract dining and shopping options we enjoy today, such as ALDI and Wendy’s,” said Meggie Froman-Knight, Executive Director of CIEDA in Rogers County.

"To help strategically market our area to interested businesses, CIEDA partners with a national retail consultant, Retail Strategies. Their support has been responsible for helping to attract dining and shopping options we enjoy today, such as ALDI and Wendy’s."

Beyond Retail Recruitment

The partnership is a two-way street and there is constant communication. “With potential pieces of property, Retail Strategies has gotten on an airplane to meet with a property owner. The value add has been huge on so many levels. They aren’t just giving me data so that I can make cold calls. It’s continuous dialogue.” finished Feary.

When asked what advice he would give to other community leaders, Feary stated: 

“I’ve told every city leader that has called to ask about Retail Strategies, ‘You’d be foolish not to try.’"

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