See how this Midwestern city utilizes analytics to grow their community.
Lebanon, MO, a predominately manufacturing community, partnered with Buxton to strengthen its retail recruitment strategy through analytics. City leaders have seen quick success after partnering with Buxton and implementing their retail recruitment plan. Since partnering with Buxton, Slim Chickens, Rue 21 and Sally Beauty have set up shop in Lebanon.
CHRIS HEARD: Hi I’m Chris Heard, City Administrator, City of Lebanon. Lebanon is a service oriented community. Because of our large manufacturing base our population doubles during the day-time, and a lot of folks are probably commuting within 30 minutes of our community, to come to work and so once they’re here they do a lot of their shopping and they do a lot of their entertainment before heading home. I had a group of business folks in the community that really wanted to take REDI, the economic development organization, out of just primary job recruitment and really start looking at retail. So, I was tasked to find a provider that could help us through that; and in that process, I discovered Buxton and we ultimately entered into a three-year partnership with them.
BRIAN THOMPSON: Lebanon Regional Economic Development Incorporated, or REDI, started as a public private partnership in 2004. Buxton was able to match us with 20 potential retailers or restaurants, that fit our community’s profile. And through that we were able to make initial contact and actually get a response from approximately 75% of those initial 20 matches. Also, throughout the process we’ve been able to see three of those matches come to Lebanon already in the first year alone. We have now more of an “outside the box” mindset than we’ve had maybe in the last 15-20 years. On the backbone of the great manufacturing footprint that has existed here from almost the very beginning of time for Lebanon, now coupled with a strong retail recruitment arm, I think the sky is certainly the limit for our community and county.
CHRIS: I think the most valuable land in a community is redevelopment land, because you’ve got a lot of the infrastructure there you’re not putting new infrastructure. And so, when I look at redevelopment projects, I like in feel and I like that fact that I can find niche retailers to fit in those areas. Like the Allen Building downtown, to me that was our first manufacturing facility in the community, built it in 1940’s. And so, from that perspective, to turn that into a vibrant retail space downtown, is going to be the ultimate win for the community of Lebanon. Whether it’s a redevelopment of the Allen Building, it’s investing and trying to get doctors here through the services that we are providing, Buxton can be that partner that allows us to recruit those retailers to give us the income to put in different public infrastructure that makes us a more vibrant community.