Large-scale super store could keep more money from leaving Windsor
October 29, 2016
With surrounding communities touting a wealth of shopping options and a retail industry facing tumultuous change, it will be hard for Windsor to attract many large retailers anytime soon.
The town's retail consultant, Katy Press, delivered the news to the town board in a work session Monday night. Although the presentation sounded a bit daunting, Windsor does have strengths that could to help attract retailers to the area, she said.
With online shopping becoming prevalent and newer generations spending more money on experiences — such as food, vacations and travel — and less on products, the retail industry is changing, Press said.
"The changing landscape makes retail recruitment harder," she said. "They don't know what they want."
““There should be some expectation that given the right numbers they are eventually going to build a store. The challenge becomes working with them to get them here perhaps earlier.”Katy PressWindsor retail consultant
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However, Windsor is changing too, said town Director of Economic Development Stacy Johnson. Windsor's officials will need to change gears to and work to develop its niche in the northern Colorado market.
"I think we will find a way to be successful," Johnson said.
A big advantage for Windsor, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. already owns land on the west side of Windsor and a retail super store would help stop much of town's retail leakage, Press told board members.
In 10 years Windsor's size will easily support a super store. Windsor's population will probably reach the necessary size in half that time, she said.
"There should be some expectation that given the right numbers they are eventually going to build a store," Press said. "The challenge becomes working with them to get them here perhaps earlier."
Press' analysis of the Windsor's retail future built on information town officials obtained earlier this year from a study identifying the town's retail dollar leakage and capacity. Windsor officials knew the town leaked sales tax dollars into nearby communities. The study showed just how much and organized the results by category.
The study showed the general merchandise category had the largest leakage with an estimated $49.8 million of Windsor residents' dollars spent elsewhere. The electronics and appliances, health and personal care, and clothing and accessories categories all showed estimated leakages of more than $11 million.
Although national electronics, clothing and appliance chains exist that could capture Windsor's retail leakage, most of those companies have stores in Fort Collins, Loveland or Greeley.
"We're served by everyone around us, and in and of ourselves we don't have enough capacity to have a secondary store or have a stand-alone store that would service just the Windsor marketplace," Press said.
However, Windsor does have the potential with the Colo. 392 and Interstate 25 interchange area to lure businesses away from other areas, she said.
"This is a bull's-eye location, this is it," Press said. "If we're really going to get — Wal-Mart not withstanding — retail with some stature to it, this is where it's going to come. The ability to be on the interstate and on an east-west connector … is unparalleled in the town of Windsor."
The presentation raised more questions than answers for Mayor Kristie Melendez. So she wants to push ahead and hopefully find more solid information on where Windsor and the retail industry is headed and what the town's next course of action should be.
Windsor's town board has the options to approve another phase of work that would set Press and Johnson working to implement a Windsor retail program and plan. The work would include connecting and meeting directly with retail industry sources trying help match Windsor to shifting retail market trends, Johnson said in a memo to town board members.
"It's exciting," Melendez said.
Windsor is well positioned, she said, and small enough to flexibly adapt to what the future of retail.