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Kingman retail development looking up with possible Marshall’s, Tropical Smoothie Café

KINGMAN – A glowing report on Kingman retail development success and potential was delivered during the June 18 city council meeting. Economic Development Project Manager Sylvia Shafer and Kaleb Wilson, Retail Recruitment specialist with The Retail Coach Recruitment consulting firm noted that the private sector is growingly interested in investing in Kingman.

Shafer said it is clear that corporate America is more focused on Kingman than ever, as evidenced by dramatically increased conversation and contacts at major retail conferences.

“You’ve really matured as a retail market. A lot of these national groups have started to take a better look and more of their time into investing in Arizona, and including Kingman in that process,” Wilson concurred. He said 80,425 people are located within the primary Kingman area retail market with an impressive compound annual growth rate in retail demand.

“Overall growth at 2.76% is very high for any community in the U.S. right now,” Wilson said. “Anything above 1% or 1.25% is a very healthy number. Obviously, you’re surpassing that.”

Shafer said The Retail Coach worked with the city economic development team to help secure a Kingman commitment from Marshalls. He said a fast casual cafe is next.

“That one is going to be Tropical Smoothie Cafe. They’ve bought a parcel right in front of the bowling alley,” Wilson said. “That’s going to be an out-lot there. The development timeline is probably within the next year, but it is a franchisee, so it’s not concrete.”

And there’s more on the way.

“We’ve already got another casual restaurant that has had their LOI (letter of intent) accepted on a building on Stockton Hill,” Wilson said. “We will have more news to share about that coming very soon. We feel very confident it’s going to happen. It’s going to be a very large sales tax driver for the City of Kingman and we look forward to having that one come.”

Vice Mayor Cherish Sammeli offered high praise for the consultant, and for Shafer. Sammeli said Shafer was a force at a major retail development conference last May in Las Vegas.

“Sylvia is not afraid to talk to anybody at these conferences,” Sammeli said. “She will walk up to every booth and she is not afraid to tell them how great and wonderful Kingman is.”

The council was advised that ongoing retail recruitment efforts benefit from the tremendous local success of their predecessors in the Kingman market in terms of store visits and sales volume.

“The national chains that are here run some of the highest numbers within the brand,” Wilson said. “Cracker Barrel runs some of the highest numbers in the U.S. Chili’s runs some of the highest numbers within the region. In-N-Out does some of the highest numbers in the region. I know that Home Depot actually does pretty well compared to the U.S., which is impressive.”

Mayor Ken Watkins said Cracker Barrel’s success here is impressive because the national chain usually locates in close proximity to freeways, and the Kingman store is a half-mile north of Interstate 40.

“It was a leap of faith for them,” Watkins said. He said Cracker Barrel, no doubt, is glad it gambled on Kingman.

President Aaron Farmer said The Retail Coach and City of Kingman are off to a great start. 

Farmer said market research and data collection were the priority during the first six months of its consulting contract, and that actual recruiting has only occurred for some five months. He said favorable synergy bodes well for future Kingman retail development success.

Dave Hawkins