By Roneshia Thomas
From the November/December 2022 Issue
Retail trends have been constantly changing and growing since the pandemic swept through the country. During the pandemic, online sales were on the rise while physical locations were hurt the most. Although the post-pandemic market has started to transform again, there are several new challenges and priorities for retailers.
In the years during the pandemic, a major challenge has arisen for the retail industry: the supply chain. Supply chain challenges have made themselves known over the last two years, through empty shelves, shortages, and price increases. Due to the persistent supply chain issues retailers have resorted to altering the way they present themselves to consumers.
According to a Deloitte retail industry report, many current supply chain capabilities—around demand planning, inventory management, and fulfillment forecasting—aren’t set up to handle unpredictable customers. Attainable supply chain resiliency will require significant changes as the retail industry bounces back.
In addition to supply chain and manufacturing challenges plaguing retailers, they also have to reengage the workforce. With “The Great Resignation” at the forefront of the retail industry, building a workforce for retail has become increasingly difficult. Deloitte reports that 83% of retailers are now investing more heavily in employee retention and recruitment. Priorities for employees have shifted since the pandemic to focus more on flexibility, culture, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Another trend retailers have realized is that consumers are relying more and more on digital platforms and technology to enhance their shopping experiences. According to a Silicon Valley Bank report, customers now expect, and prefer, personalized shopping experiences. The report predicts more partnerships and investments by commerce companies to combine online and offline experiences.
Many locations around the United States have taken strategic approaches to attract consumers in the retail industry.
Tomball, TX: Creating The Recipe For Retail Success
Surging growth and ideal location generate advantages for retail investment in Tomball, TX. Advanced infrastructure, shovel-ready land, and strong business principles enable Tomball, just 30 minutes from Houston, to benefit from growth and experience economic prosperity.
A growing customer base stems from residential construction around Tomball. Thousands of master-planned homesites are recently completed, planned, or under construction. Tomball’s population is projected to grow from around 12,000 to more than 20,000 by 2030. The city is preparing for the immediate surrounding area population to surpass 100,000 within five years.
Residential growth provides available talent to fill jobs. The Tomball Economic Development Council (TEDC) works closely with the award-winning Tomball Independent School District, Lone Star College-Tomball, and other stakeholders to coordinate workforce development efforts. This collaborative approach to preparing students for the workforce helps drive investment throughout Tomball.
Tomball thoughtfully manages growth to protect the city’s cultural charm. With roots dating back to the early 20th century, Old Town Tomball remains the heart of Tomball. The downtown district attracts retail establishments with its walkability and friendly vibe. Visitors stroll down Main Street enjoying culinary masterpieces, vintage antiques, and modern fashion.
The TEDC continues to place priority on Old Town Tomball, helping buoy retail entrepreneurs. To encourage investment in Old Town Tomball, the TEDC operates the Façade Improvement Grant (FIG) Program. FIG is designed specifically for Tomball’s cultural hub by offering matching grant funds to assist significant renovations in the Old Town Business District. Similarly, the Business Improvement Grant (BIG) Program is a matching grant program designed to help property owners and businesses make improvements to buildings and property in Tomball outside of Old Town.
Local leadership maintains a commitment to enhancing infrastructure. New roads improve mobility to, from, and through Tomball, conveniently bringing customers into the city every day. Tomball Parkway, improved as a major thoroughfare, provides ample surface road access to businesses and residences. Grand Parkway is the most recent motorway developed to carry people and products throughout the region. Connectors from Grand Parkway to Tomball Parkway are actively being completed, providing easier drives to key retail centers.