• 2,123 responses provide valuable insight on local retail industry

A survey recently completed by Brookings Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) shows residents would like more retail choices, with family restaurants, clothing stores and additional grocery options high on the list of requests.

The Brookings County Consumer Survey was completed by 2,123 Brookings County residents and workers representing different life stages from young adults and college students to retirees. The survey questions focused on identifying consumer preferences related to shopping in-store versus online, shopping outside of Brookings County and the types of stores residents would like to see here. Participants were also asked about their overall impression of Brookings. Some of the highlights of the compiled results include:

  • Sporting Goods/Toys/Hobby/Books/Music and Clothing/Clothing Accessories are the store categories most likely to experience online sales.
  • Young Family with Children is the life stage most likely to shop online, while Retired is the least likely.
  • Retired and Young Family with Children are the life stages most likely to encourage people to move here.
  • Small town atmosphere with big city amenities, friendly people and safety are the features of Brookings that participants like the most.
  • Additional shopping and dining, more affordable housing options and infrastructure improvements including better road conditions and snow removal processes were the most suggested improvements.

“We are thrilled with the level of response from the community and the number of residents who participated in the survey,” said Kristi Larsen, BEDC Marketing Director. “These results provide valuable insight that can be used to create programs in support of retail industry growth and development in Brookings.” The compiled survey report provides an analysis of the responses and includes supportive data derived from outside sources to further depict the current state of retail.

As the lead economic development entity in Brookings County, BEDC collaborates closely with the city of Brookings on retail development initiatives. In addition to maintaining and distributing data on demographic and economic trends and market highlights, the organization identifies and recruits national and regional retail prospects, maintains a database of available properties and provides support for local entrepreneurs interested in retail start-up opportunities.

The survey results are part of a comprehensive study being completed by BEDC on the current and projected retail landscape in the region. The study will detail the strengths and weaknesses of the area and consider how demographics, employment growth, shopping habits and local and national industry trends affect local retail sales growth.

“By analyzing local consumer demand, retail leakage and surplus, available sites and retailer requirements, data-driven and sustainable solutions can be identified to best position Brookings for future growth within this highly volatile industry,” said Larsen. 

The complete survey report can be found online at brookingsedc.com/consumersurvey. Anyone interested in learning more about the survey or BEDC’s retail recruitment efforts can contact Larsen at 605-697-8103 or by email to kristi@brookingsedc.com.  

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