CORINTH — After surveying the license plates of customers shopping at a local grocery store, members of a marketing consulting team hired by the city of Corinth said they have discovered the city’s shopping reach.
A city’s reach is determined by the distance shoppers from other cities will regularly travel, and officials plan to use their data to develop a marketing profile of the city.
City officials can use the data to lure commercial and retail development within the city limits, said Jason Claunch, a representative from Catalyst, the consulting company.
“Developers like to know a city’s potential before moving in,” he said. “And cities can use the data to show how far out they can attract shoppers.”
According to the data that Claunch released during a council meeting in May, the city attracts shoppers from bordering municipalities, communities out toward Interstate 35W and Denton.
“That’s our main market and that’s a lot of people,” Claunch said. “The city’s reach goes beyond the city limits.”
Defining the market reach is part of a strategy the city is developing to build an economic identity for Corinth and lure commercial development, officials said.
City officials said they hope to turn Corinth into a destination city.
Economic Development Corporation director Guy Brown said regional competition is pulling sales tax revenue away from the city. He estimated that about $400 million annually is spent outside city limits.
Brown said Catalyst is also helping determine other characteristics of the city, including the economic and education background of residents, the quality of the schools and even the state of the city’s infrastructure.
Brown said developers will only consider cities that have the demographics to support their businesses.
In the coming weeks, Claunch said, he will work on finishing a complete profile of the city that can be used to jump-start development efforts.
Officials said Corinth faces competition from more mature communities in the area.
Officials hope their efforts will encourage developers to pay attention to Corinth instead of bypassing it for more developed cities.
“The goal is to advertise and network with developers and show them how great we are,” Brown said.
Council member Lowell Johnson said he’s looking forward to a completed marketing profile that will be readily available for potential business developers.
“That’s great because time is money for developers,” Johnson said. “If you don’t have your plan prepared, they will pass you up for the cities that are prepared.”
Brown said some of Corinth’s weaknesses include low daytime employment and population, a low percentage of commercial property and a high percentage of residents spending their money in other communities.
At a recent meeting, Brown said developing more businesses in Corinth would help the city reduce the tax burden on homeowners.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.