Retail options not meeting Shawnee’s needs, study shows
A new study estimates that Shawnee is losing $475 million in sales each year because of a lack of retail options for the citizens of Shawnee.
The Shawnee Economic Development Council (EDC) recently completed a leakage study that examined the demand of Shawnee’s nearly 65,000 residents and the supply of shopping and dining services. “Leakage” is the amount of money that Shawnee residents are estimated to spend outside of Shawnee instead of in the city because of a lack of retail options.
The results of the study show that Shawnee meets only 59 percent of the retail demand generated by residents. The unmet demand equates to an estimated $475 million in sales. If this sales demand was met, according to the EDC, it would generate over $7.7 million dollars of city sales tax revenue annually.
The $475 million represents what is called an opportunity gap. The study identified potential opportunity gaps in 11 of 12 major retail categories and retail sub-categories including furniture, health and beauty, computer and electronics, department stores and sporting goods as well as full-service restaurants.
The results were not surprising for the EDC’s Executive Director Andrew Nave. In 2010, the EDC conducted a destination retail study among Shawnee residents and found that a majority of residents wanted more full-service restaurants and retail services.
Nave said that this latest study quantifies that need. He said that the city could stem the amount of leakage by redeveloping the city’s current shopping centers, such as Westbrook Village, and by developing new shopping centers such as the proposed Shawnee Landing at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Maurer Road.
“It speaks to the fact that other, newer developments are vital to what we need in Shawnee,” Nave said, “not just from a quality of life standpoint but also as a function of revenue keeping more of those sales tax dollars in Shawnee.”
The leakage study was developed by Integra Realty Resources, Inc. a leading real estate consulting firm, and the results were compiled using data from the Nielson Company, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Census of Retail Trade.
Nave said the EDC, Shawnee Chamber of Commerce and the city will use the data when they talk with potential restaurants, retailers and commercial developers and it will serve as a recruiting tool to show that Shawnee has the demand for new development.