Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Local retailers want survey on shopping habits

What do Grand Forks retailers need to do attract shoppers and keep them from heading for Fargo or the Twin Cities? What new stores does the area need? Those are questions that would be answered in a $50,000 study a local group of retailers are se...

What do Grand Forks retailers need to do attract shoppers and keep them from heading for Fargo or the Twin Cities? What new stores does the area need? Those are questions that would be answered in a $50,000 study a local group of retailers are seeking to fund.

They've gotten commitments from the Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Now, they're seeking funding from the cities of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.

The Grand Forks City Council, by way of its Finance Committee, got a request for $20,000 Wednesday.

Chamber President Barry Wilfahrt said the firm the retail task force seeks to hire, Buxton Co., would use credit card data to tease out consumer spending habits to find out what they're buying in Grand Forks and what they're bypassing Grand Forks to buy.

Study results, he said, would be available both in written formats and in seminars and one-on-one consultations for all local retailers.

ADVERTISEMENT

When he headed the chamber in Watertown, S.D., he said, Buxton did a study for retailers there, helping them retain customers from leaving for Sioux Falls and helping developers attract eight new retailers to compliment the mix.

Wilfahrt noted that Watertown's city's sales tax collections went up.

Finance Committee chair Doug Christensen said he's willing to vote for the funding request, but he wants a long-term plan. There are lots of empty storefronts and just having a survey wouldn't be enough, he said.

Grand Forks has to deal with its remote geography, he noted, somewhat ignoring the sheer advantage of being an hour closer to Winnipeg than Fargo.

Wilfahrt said the information would let the private sector, retailers and developers do what they do better. He agreed, though, that the task force could provide more details.

Council member Mike McNamara asked why the public sector should involve itself when other groups in the city can take care of the matter.

Wilfahrt said different communities fund these sorts of studies differently, though cities do tend to get involved.

Reach Tran at (701) 780-1248; (800) 477-6572, ext. 248; or send e-mail to ttran@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: LOCAL BUSINESS
What To Read Next
Josh Sipes was watching an in-flight movie when he became aware the flight crew were asking for help assisting a woman who was experiencing a medical problem.
Nonprofit hospitals are required to provide free or discounted care, also known as charity care; yet eligibility and application requirements vary across hospitals. Could you qualify? We found out.
Crisis pregnancy centers received almost $3 million in taxpayer funds in 2022. Soon, sharing only medically accurate information could be a prerequisite for funding.
The Grand Forks Blue Zones Project, which hopes to make Grand Forks not just a healthier city but a closer community, is hosting an event on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Empire Arts Center from 3-5 p.m.