VICTORIA - The growth of Victoria is constantly on the minds of city leaders.
So much so, The Victoria City Council has spent nearly $53,000 on a study to show how much more the city can expand economically.
The study is being conducted by an outside group called The Retail Coach. Initial details into their findings showed significant gaps in Victoria's economy. Those details were released Tuesday night at the Victoria City Council Meeting.
Since November, The Retail Coach has been studying different aspects of the city, from its businesses to its consumers, finding out what it has and most importantly what it needs. And in that study, the group found the city has been missing out on millions of dollars’ worth of sales.
“What we’ve found is there is a lot of leakage, people that are leaving the community, going to areas like Sugar Land or Houston, but it’s a regional hub. Victoria is a regional hub, but you do still have people leaving going to buy other things,” Aaron Farmer, Vice President of The Retail Coach, said.
Farmer said even though Victoria has a strong number of businesses, it is still lacking in certain areas.
“You still have leakage in drug stores, even though you have quite a few, you still leakages in those. Grocery stores, even though you have a couple H-E-B’s that do very well, as well as your Super Wal-Marts. You still have leakage in grocery. And then your clothing, you’ve got people that are leaving, going to First Colony Mall and Sugar Land or other places like that to buy items, clothing items, they can’t find here in Victoria,” Farmer said.
But soon, consumers just might find some of those businesses next door.
“We’ve reached out to about 50 so far, and we’ve had five very strong businesses that were actually looking for sites for over the next few days,” Farmer said.
Farmer said those businesses include some restaurants and even a grocery store. But the study doesn’t just benefit new businesses, it also helps existing ones as it tells them who their customers are.
"The lifestyle habits, the behaviors, what are people buying in the trade area, so really studying the consumers, studying the Victoria costumer, who is he,” Farmer said.
The Retail Coach only unveiled the first part of their study to city leaders Tuesday. The entire study won't be completed until April. And after that, The Retail Coach will work with the city to help attract businesses for the next twelve months.
If you missed Tuesday’s presentation, you can catch another one Wednesday morning at 8:00a.m. at the Victoria Public Library.