If you go

What: Market research workshop

When: 7:30 a.m. Tuesday

Where: Community Room, Cook Memorial Library, 2006 Fourth St., La Grande

Registration: Contact Christine Jarski, the City of La Grande’s economic development director at 541-962-1307 or cjarski@cityoflagrande.org.

A frequent question asked by business owners is: What can I do to attract more customers?

The Urban Renewal Agency has contracted with Buxton, a Fort Worth, Texas-based company to help local business owners answer that question. Buxton is presenting a free workshop on Tuesday — for those considering opening a new business as well as those hoping to expand their current one — that will provide data on what people in the area are shopping for.

Specializing in customer analytics, Buxton has assisted more than 750 communities with retail development strategies, according to a press release from Christine Jarski, the City of La Grande’s economic development director.

Buxton provides two key services: First, it matches thousands of retail businesses with cities and communities looking to recruit. Buxton will provide information on retail businesses that fit the characteristics a community is looking for.

Second, the firm compiles a list of 20 businesses that are seeking to expand to Oregon and have existing operations in communities with characteristics similar to La Grande. One of those companies was Big 5, which recently announced it will be opening a store in the near future in La Grande, Jarski said.

Tuesday’s market research workshop will cover topics such as:

• What retail stores or restaurants are most likely to be successful in my community?

• Is there enough demand in the market for me to add an additional location?

• What merchandise mix or menu items should I offer?

• How can I create marketing materials that better resonate with my local audience?

A trainer from Buxton will help businesses identify the types of consumers in the trade areas, review the business’ objectives and determine if there are opportunities for growth. Buxton will also demonstrate a new local store marketing app named “LSMx.” The app allows business owners to visualize concentrations of potential customers and identify how far these customers are willing to drive to visit their store. Users can then create customized marketing campaigns targeting these potential customers.

For example, Jarski explained, if there was an event happening in the area, the app would alert the business owner to the upcoming influx of consumers, who could then take advantage of the crowds and have a special sale.

Contact Cherise Kaechele at 541-786-4234 or ckaechele@lagrandeobserver.com. Follow Cherise on Twitter
@lgoKaechele.

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