The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Economic Development 2011

February 13, 2011

Turning the corner

Bounce in static retail economy may come soon

ENID — Selling a city to national retailers sometimes is a slow process, but retail consultant Rickey Hayes said he is seeing movement.

“It’s starting to loosen up,” he said. “The financing is better with the economy at least stable and moving up. Most of the corporate and commercial realtors are saying we’re not completely out of the box, but not at the bottom.”

The progress is two-fold: Many national realtors are deciding they may as well open a few new stores, which creates motivation to beat the market back, he said.

There still is under-priced commercial real estate that may not last as conditions improve. Hayes said big stores are starting to be active. Wal-Mart is not doing much in Oklahoma but is active in Texas, primarily in the Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio areas.

“Oklahoma’s economy fared better than other states, but it is still static,” Hayes said. “Any movement is more than we’ve seen in the last two years.”

Specifically, Hayes said, soft goods retailers and restaurant corporations are looking at Enid. He expects to announce new restaurants in the third quarter of the year. Discussions are ongoing now.

Commercial retailers are dealing with Hayes and J. Herzog & Sons, which owns Oakwood Mall.

Hayes said has had meetings with City Manager Eric Benson and Enid’s city commission regarding some big box stores wanting to downsize space. They are waiting on deals, but conditions still are a little slow, he said.

“Marketing Enid to national retail people is a tenacious and lengthy process and we are in the middle of it. We’re ahead of where we thought we would be, there is still a lot of distressed commercial real estate, and we still may not have seen the end of foreclosures, but we’ve turned the corner,” he said.

Hayes said he hopes to see construction this year. It normally is a 36-month process from the time a community is broadcast and national retailers start to answer, he said. The recession has slowed the process, he said, but Enid is enjoying a retail move toward mircopolitan economies. Political instability in Tulsa almost stopped development there, he said.

Marketing Enid is key. While the city has not grown as fast as suburbs like Owasso, Yukon, Jenks and Glenpool, positive growth has been achieved. Throughout the last 10 years Enid’s city limit has grown 1.78 percent, and it is projected from 2010 to 2015 it will grow another 1 to 1.5 percent. Positive, though not dynamic, growth that national retailers gravitate toward, Hayes said.

Still, growth is positive and Enid’s income factor — more than the $45,000 to $50,000 average household income retailers prefer — is promising. More than 40 percent of Enid’s trade area has income at or above $50,000.

Hayes said Enid is missing out on retail business to the tune of $30 million a year in soft goods and clothing, $51 million groceries and $22 million in electronics. Indications are the market will be strong in those areas and may grow faster than the population. He attributes that to Vance Air Force Base and its economic impact on Enid.

“Those are key issues we broadcast to national retailers,” Hayes said. “The main scope of work is to keep pressure on those national guys to put Enid at the top of the list. If they are considering putting stores in Oklahoma, they need to think of Enid first.”

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Economic Development 2011
  • CoverED2011.jpg Economic Development 2011

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  • Inspire_Enid_1_BH.jpg Divine inspiration

    Inspire Greater Enid is an organization that has a mission to bring together professionals in marketing and communications fields and provide them resources, information, training and professional marketing.

    February 13, 2011 1 Photo

  • Eagle_Mkt_BBQ_2_CB.jpg ‘Ambassadors’ help Enid shine

    “We have become incredibly successful at marketing. We are a for-profit company but virtually everything we do has a spin-off for the local economy. We are trying to get good, fun events. We are trying to get Enid to be fun and a good destination for fun.” — Frank Baker, director of Eagle Marketing

    February 13, 2011 1 Photo

  • enid1stheader_2.jpg Enid 1st seeks stories that it can brag about

    Enid Regional Development Alliance, along with the help of the Enid News & Eagle, has launched an Enid 1st Campaign with the goal of drawing information from individuals, companies or organizations about what Enid is best at, has the most of, is first at doing or has the only of.

    February 13, 2011 1 Photo

  • Progress_EnidDevAlliance_JM.jpg Out on their own: With a little help from the community

    In his third year as executive director, ERDA executive director Brent Kisling said the development alliance has been successful in three areas: “Working with entrepreneurs, working with present businesses and soliciting new businesses.”

    February 13, 2011 1 Photo

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    The manufacturing of fireworks is considered an art form, which is kind of strange for something that blows up.” — Jim Burnett, owner of Western Enterprises at Carrier

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    Kelly Goodwin, general manager, said they are working to entice several businesses into the mall.

    February 13, 2011 3 Photos

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    Today’s social networking sites make it much easier for Enid to market itself and find new investment opportunities, said Brent Kisling, executive director of Enid Regional Development Alliance.

    February 13, 2011 3 Photos

  • ECVB_BH.jpg No secrets here

    Marcy Jarrett, director of ECVB, said the No. 1 goal is to find what people want in Enid and promote that directly.

    February 13, 2011 1 Photo

  • Progress_MattressHub_3_BV.jpg Turning the corner

    “Marketing Enid to national retail people is a tenacious and lengthy process and we are in the middle of it. We’re ahead of where we thought we would be, there is still a lot of distressed commercial real estate, and we still may not have seen the end of foreclosures, but we’ve turned the corner." — Rickey Hayes, retail consultant

    February 13, 2011 1 Photo