Franklin County Commissioners, Columbus Chamber Unveil 2012 Franklin County Retail Report
Comprehensive report contains data including employment, real estate changes
Jung Kim, the Columbus Chamber's research director, included the following highlights in the 2012 Franklin County Retail Report:
- Although Franklin County as a whole saw a retail employment decline of 28 percent between 2001 and 2010, some areas within the county - such as Reynoldsburg and the Easton area - experienced growth. Additionally, restaurant and bar employment in Franklin County has remained steady, increasing 1.4 percent in the same time period.
- Franklin County revenue from sales taxes on the retail, food, and accommodations sectors decreased 31 percent from $130.5 million in 2006 to $89.9 million in 2010 - primarily due to a 0.25 percent sales tax increase for COTA. The taxable retail spending base decreased 8 percent during the same period. However, the following retail trade categories saw increases, ranging from 4 to 16 percent, in the taxable base from 2006 to 2010: food and beverage stores, gasoline stations, clothing stores, and food services.
- Since a peak of 13.2 percent in the second quarter of 2009, the retail vacancy rate in the area comprising Franklin County and the adjacent six counties has steadily decreased to 11 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. According to research from Marcus & Millichap, the Columbus market could see the retail vacancy rate fall to 10.2 percent in 2012, a five-year low.
- From 2000 to 2011, online sales in the U.S. grew more than 19 percent annually, compared to less than 3 percent for physical, bricks-and-mortar retail sales. Analysts forecast that e-commerce will only continue to grow in the near future, from an estimate of $176 billion in 2010 to $296 billion in 2016 - with mobile sales and social-media-based e-commerce being major drivers. The challenges for the Franklin County retail market, in particular, include lost sales tax revenue from online retailer and consumer non-compliance.
- The top ten Tapestry segments, or categories used to understand the lifestyles and life-stages of consumers, differ significantly in Franklin County from those of the U.S. overall. The county's top three segments - enterprising families, aspiring young families, and up and coming families - correlates with higher than average spending potential in categories like video game hardware and software, pets, and school books and supplies.
"It's encouraging to see promising news like a steady restaurant and bar employment rate and decreasing retail vacancy rate come out of this report," said Michael Dalby, president and CEO, Columbus Chamber. "Those factors, combined with the consumer insights uncovered, should help to inform retailers' efforts to grow and expand in the Columbus Region."
A full version of the 2012 Franklin County Retail Report is available here.
The report was unveiled today at the 2012 Franklin County Retail Summit, which included insight from Yaromir Steiner, founder and CEO of Steiner + Associates and one of the country's top developers. The event also featured a marketing trends panel discussion, with various local retail and marketing industry executives identifying the region's opportunities and challenges.