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Franklin Retail Market Study
Preliminary Recommendations
August 4, 2010
Today’s Presentation
• Input Review
• Recap of the market study findings
• Strategic Themes
• Recommendations
• Background Review
• Interviews and Focus Groups – Roughly
60 Participants
• Zip Code Survey
• Market Findings
• Recommendations
Input -- Strengths
• Setting and proximity.
• Fiber loop.
• Phil Drake’s investments in Franklin.
• Appalachian Trail.
• Young people are proud to be from here.
• Several museums in town.
• Gem mines.
Input -- Strengths
• Certified Entrepreneurial Community.
• “Economic Center West of the Balsams.”
Input -- Challenges
• 56% of the tax bills go out of the county.
• Dependency on construction has been a
hard hit during the recession.
• Specialty retail is spread out in a number
of districts.
• Multiple messages – Shop Franklin First,
Affordable Franklin, Discover Us,
Mountain Treasures, etc.
Input -- Challenges
• Older population demographic
• Nothing to keep young people here
Input -- Opportunities
• Capitalize on affinity groups:
– Hikers on the AT
– Bikers
– Families
• Tap into Blue Ridge National Heritage
• Market to “lone wolf” consultants.
• Realign businesses along the river.
• Food related businesses.
Input – Desired Uses
• More variety of accommodations.
• Restaurants downtown.
• Belk’s or Kohl’s.
• Mast General Store.
• Drug Store.
• Small meeting facility.
• Microbrewery.
• Lone Star, Outback.
Market Analysis - Zip Code Survey
• Survey Held June 23-July 3
• 17 Retail Participants Tallied
• 1988 Recorded Visits
• 524 Unique American Zip Codes (574)
• 31 States (36)
Where are they from?
Other States
Rest of GA
Rest of NC
28713 Bryson City
30568 Rabun Gap
1% Hayesville
28779 Sylva
2% 28763 Otto
28741 Highlands
28734 OUT
28734 IN
28734 OTHER
The Trade Area Definition
Retail Market Potential
Retail Market Potential
Retail Market Potential
Retail Development Strategies for Franklin
Refining the Message: Marketing Recommendations
Building Critical Mass: Retail Recruitment Recommendations
Preparing for Investment: Organizational Strategy
Marketing Issues
• Franklin has created and has launched a
“brand” identity – (new Hiker logo)
• Yet there are still multiple branded statements
for the community and the region.
• There is little focus on Franklin as a shopping
and dining destination.
• There are also multiple markets to target.
Marketing Targets
The local Franklin resident
The seasonal customer
The regional customer
The visiting customer
Marketing Recommendations
• Implement wayfinding ASAP.
• Work on a “shopping and dining” page for the
Town’s webpage:
– include a link for shopping and dining on Facebook.
– Coordinate and link with Shop Franklin First
• Consider reinventing print material for the
– Launch a shopping and dining guide, AND/OR
– Work collaboratively on a high quality magazine guide
• Develop a marketing matching grant for
The Marketing Grant Explained
• First year: $10,000.
• Matching “allocation” for ads that use the
Franklin brand.
• Merchants may choose preferred media.
• Web tracking (not discounts) to check
progress (particularly important to reconnect
to markets that are targets).
• Consider guerilla marketing tactics.
Marketing Recommendations, Cont’d
• Consider and coordinate all events:
– Consider after hours event to promote shopping and dining
downtown: art/gallery/shop crawl.
– Consider a special event or promotion to recognize
seasonal visitors.
Recruitment Issues
Franklin is demonstrating significant retail leakage
in several retail categories and significant retail
gain in others.
Franklin has numerous retail districts within
downtown and along the by-pass.
There is no single district that has “critical mass” as
a gathering spot, a browsing district. Downtown
comes closest.
Retail Targets for Franklin
Sporting Goods
Food related retail
Gifts, Jewelry: some of this is already a strength.
Recruitment Recommendations
Consider targeted recruitment of store types:
Consider signing and marketing of “districts”
Anchor/catalyst store for downtown
Outdoor outfitters, sporting goods
Full service restaurant downtown – consider slow food, locally
grown, etc.
Retail catalyst: single point of sale craft cooperative or similar
River District (Depot Street and Highlands Road).
Heritage Hollow, lower Palmer Street area.
Consider “Lone Wolf” office catalyst in upper floors.
Consider community meeting space, reception space.
Organizational Issues
• Franklin has a number of partners working to market
and improve the community:
Main Street
Town TDA, County TDC
Chamber of Commerce
Smoky Mountain Host
Blue Ridge National Heritage Area
Shop Franklin First
The Whistle Stop
Center for the Performing Arts
• There is an opportunity for stronger collaborations and a
more consistent message.
• Franklin should continue to engage young professionals.
Organizational Recommendations
• Appoint a volunteer “recruitment team” to solicit interested
businesses in locating in Franklin using information from this
• Work on a “young professionals” group to encourage
involvement from new people, initiate projects, etc.
• Consider an annual Franklin Marketing Summit to share
ideas and deploy strategies.
• Host a familiarization tour of Franklin for