Consultant promotes matching city with businesses

Staff reporter

If the city should decide to sign on with the headhunter company, Buxton will profile one site within the community which will be the focus of development. An estimated driving time to the trade area and household profiles will be compiled. The retail trade potential then will be analyzed.

As part of the initial contract, Buxton will provide the city with marketing packages for 10 retailers. Contact information about the city would be provided to retailers with a letter of introduction on behalf of the city.

By matching the city with interested retailers, there is more chance for success.

"We're offering a lifetime partnership between Buxton and the City of Hillsboro," Hill said.

For a one-time fee of $50,000, the city will receive 10 marketing packages that will be matched with retailers and customer information that is necessary to make the matches.

The fee can be made in payments, Hill said, with work beginning when a contract is signed.

Other cities that have contracts with Buxton are Newton, Emporia, and Great Bend.


Retail grows retail, Hill said, and by finding those retail business matches, a synergy will be established which typically leads to more retail.

"Recruitment is a process," Hill said. Changes are not going to occur overnight.

Being realistic about the types of retail businesses and restaurants Hillsboro can attract and support also is important.

"Applebee's needs a trade area of 9,000 people," Hill said, so time isn't wasted going after those businesses that aren't interested.

Won't people still go out of town to shop even if there are retailers in Hillsboro?

"People don't drive past a Wal-Mart to go to another Wal-Mart," Hill said. If there are retailers in Hillsboro that customers want to patronize, they'll come to Hillsboro to do it if it's closer than other cities.

So, how many matches could there be for Hillsboro?

"I have not worked with a city with less than 100 matches," Hill said.


Hillsboro City Administrator Larry Paine said he contacted the city manager at Great Bend regarding the services provided by Buxton.

Paine said his opinion after talking with the manager is with a company like Buxton, instead of "shot gunning, we're able to rifle shoot."

"We're able to eliminate unobtainable retailers to focus on those who are interested," Paine said.

The survey information could be dispersed by the city as it sees fit. If the city wanted, the information could be shared with local businesses to help with possible expansions or to know what products will sell in the Hillsboro area.

"Existing retailers could identify needed markets or niches," Hill said.

Seizing the future

By picking and choosing the types of businesses to be located in the city's retail district, the city can control its own destiny.

The information that Buxton gathers is good for about five years, Hill said. To update the study and for three additional matches, the city would have to pay $10,000.

If the city council decides to sign on with Buxton, a team will be assigned to the city and become familiar with the area.

Hill stressed that the information that would be gathered doesn't focus on individuals but the complexion of consumer buying habits.

When the study is completed, it will be up to the city to execute the program.

Hill explained that Buxton has been responsible for filling 15 million square feet of retail space.

Who is Buxton?

Mayor Delores Dalke heard a presentation by Hill at the International League of Cities convention recently at New Orleans. Dalke was impressed with the company and excited about the possibilities.

Located in Fort Worth, Texas, Buxton pioneered the use of demographics, psychographics, drive-time analysis, and lifestyle characteristics to provide strategic decision-making information to any enterprise serving customers.

At this time, there are not any other companies doing what this company does.