“Remarkable!” That’s how Aaron Farmer, president of the Retail Coach, described Navasota’s retail growth since his working relationship with the City of Navasota began in 2008. Speaking at the Jan. 11 State of the City Address, Farmer shared analytics to highlight the growth in retail traffic after a decade of revitalization efforts.
Tracking shopping trends
Providing data to cities and businesses about who is shopping in their area is only a part of what the Retail Coach does and technology has changed the information gathering process since 2008. According to Farmer, back in the day he drove around Navasota with a camera taking pictures of license plates but now cellphones with location services provide that data.
Farmer said, “Ever feel like you’re being tracked when you walk into Walmart? If you have a cellphone, you are. We know when you go into Walmart. We know when you go somewhere downtown… when you go into the new Chicken Express.”
According to Farmer, 68,500 people made 485,000 shopping visits to the Navasota Walmart in 2022.
He said, “That gives us information to share with the local businesses, the downtown merchants, and gives us information to take to outside retailers and shops that are looking to come to the market.”
Heat maps which reveal where shoppers are coming from help determine a community’s retail trade area. Other information such as the busiest days of the week and busiest times of day can be pinpointed and are of benefit to business owners.
Booming downtown retail
Farmer said, “Downtown has a lot of visitors as well. Walmart brings in quite a few but downtown brought in 121,800 unique consumers over the last 12 months. That’s huge! 122,000 unique people shopping and eating downtown. That’s double what Walmart saw. Those 121,000 visitors made 452,500 visits throughout the year. You have a lot of repeat business that’s taking place.”
The data indicates only 22% of shoppers are from the 77868 ZIP code, which Farmer says, makes Navasota a “regional market.” Its primary retail trade area extends past Plantersville to the east, down to Hempstead to the south, to Independence-Wilcox to the west and past Millican toward College Station.
Farmer continued, “In that area, we’re at 50,000 who shop and eat in Navasota on a regular basis.”
Farmer called the increase “huge” considering the 2008 trade area was 15,000. Not only that, the average annual household income of shoppers has risen from $68,000 to $93,257 since 2017.
Farmer recalled several years ago, the demand in Navasota was for more grocery stores, casual sit-down restaurants and fast-food restaurants – and added the City is about to see substantial growth in those areas. While Navasota’s compound area growth rate (CAGR) is at 2.79%, Farmer said, “That’s pretty fast from a growth standpoint. We like to see 1%, or 2% if we’re lucky.”
Lack of franchisees
According to Farmer, Arby’s, Huddle House, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Schlotzsky’s, Great Clips and Supercuts are interested in coming to Navasota, but the problem is lack of franchisees.
If interested in a franchise, contact Rayna Teicheira with the City of Navasota at (936) 825-6475 or Aaron Farmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To take a “deeper dive” into Navasota’s analytics, go to: https://retail360.us/navasota- texas.