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Down To A Science Pinpointing Retail Growth Markets
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Down To A Science Pinpointing Retail Growth Markets

Given the current, sluggish economic climate, retailers will have to look hard to find growth opportunities in the U.S.

According to Nielsen Claritas, they might start by taking a closer look at large, fast-growing metro areas, like Atlanta, Dallas, and Phoenix. 

These three markets ranked as the top three fastest growing U.S. markets in the last eight years — and could offer the retail industry some hard-to-come-by expansion opportunities, Nielsen reported in a new study released Monday.

“While some of these markets like Phoenix and Los Angeles have been hard hit by the recent wave of foreclosures, there has been no mass exodus from these markets or anywhere else.  People who have foreclosed most likely have not left the market but rather have just become renters,” Mike Mancini, Vice President of Data Product Management, Nielsen Claritas, and co-author of the new study, noted.  “Faltering markets, such as these, will likely rebound and continue to grow — and their underlying demographics are solid.”

As part of the study, Nielsen also identified seven key factors that correlate strongly with fast-growing, high-potential retail markets:

1) large land areas

2) booming suburban rings

3) widespread affluence

4) a growing Hispanic population

5) diversified employment

6) long commutes

7) the presence of lifestyle shopping centers

These indicators can be combined with demographic projections to identify markets that are likely to lead the way to economic recovery in the coming years.

In the meantime, according to Nielsen’s study, retailers looking for expansion opportunities should focus on booming college towns and resort locations, like Las Vegas, Austin, Texas, and Bend, Oregon; underdog college towns, like Columbia, Missouri, Corvallis, Oregon, and

Greensboro, North Carolina; knowledge worker havens, like Los Alamos, New Mexico, San Jose, California, Boulder, Colorado, and Minneapolis; and up-and-coming communities, like New Orleans, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Brownsville, Texas.

View the study and accompanying press release and presentation

Download Nielsen Claritas’s October 30 Webinar, “New Leading Indicators of Growth — Finding Opportunity in a Slow-Growth Environment.”

Learn more about finding growth in challenging times, in the December issue of Nielsen’s “Consumer Insight” online newsletter.