RJ White, Manager of Media Relations & Interactive Marketing
Cashman & Associates
215-627-1060 (o) / 610-209-6557 (m)
Download: Center City Reports: The State of Center City Retail 2009 | 8 pgs | Free | PDF (2.4 MB)
PHILADELPHIA RETAIL MARKETING ALLIANCE LAUNCHES WEB SITE ENCOURAGING NEW RETAILERS TO “BE IN ON IT”
Central to PRMA’s New Retail Attraction Program, the Web Site
Positions Philadelphia as a Rewarding Place for New Businesses
PHILADELPHIA (SEPTEMBER 16, 2009) – In an effort to attract new and expanding businesses to Center City, the Philadelphia Retail Marketing Alliance (PRMA) led by Center City District (CCD) is launching a retail attraction program and Web site, www.PhiladelphiaRetail.com. The Honorable Mayor Michael Nutter, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, and Paul R. Levy, President & CEO of the CCD, will introduce the PRMA’s proactive approach to attracting new retailers and encouraging new start-ups. They will underscore the important role of retail and hospitality in Philadelphia during the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. (ICSC) PA, NJ, DE Idea Exchange on September 16, 2009. In addition, a report on Center City retail trends published by the CCD will also be released.
As the core of PRMA’s program, www.PhiladelphiaRetail.com highlights the strength of the city’s retail marketplace and is a comprehensive resource for those looking to start or finance a retail business in Center City. The user-friendly site encourages potential new retailers to “Be In On It” and features success stories from prominent Philadelphia boutiques such as Sophie Curson, Joan Shepp, Zahra Saeed and Steven Lagos, as well as national retailers including Macy’s and Barneys. With a sleek and colorful design aesthetic and an editorial look and feel, www.PhiladelphiaRetail.com brings Philadelphia’s bustling Center City retail to life. Not only does the site provide key sources, it is as visually enticing as it is informative.
Focusing on the significant purchasing power of residents, commuters, visitors and students who frequent the retail establishments of Philadelphia’s dense, compact and walkable downtown area, www.PhiladelphiaRetail.com highlights why Center City is an appealing choice for new business. For instance, despite a national recession, retail vacancies increased by only 0.5% in the last year and 279 new restaurant and retail establishments have opened in the past twelve months, contributing to Philadelphia’s thriving downtown scene. Center City’s marketplace has a solid foundation of unique boutique offerings which create an exciting and diverse retail experience for shoppers; PRMA hopes to expand the marketplace to include even more regional and national retailers.
“The partners who make up the Alliance have spent over a year gathering data and interviewing retailers, brokers and developers to assemble the information for this Web site. All of us strongly believe that as Philadelphia rebounds from the national recession, the city will benefit from this strategic and proactive effort to attract new retailers and national retail developers and investors to Center City,” says Paul R. Levy of the CCD.
The PRMA’s Web site makes finding available sites easy and convenient for new and expanding businesses and connects them directly to the brokers who represent specific properties. In order to help new retailers assess the best location from which to reach their desired customers, www.PhiladelphiaRetail.com features overviews of each retail neighborhood, as well as reports on existing business by type to draw attention to opportunities in the local marketplace. For instance, recent retail assessments show prospects in the shoe and accessory, menswear and children’s markets. Businesses can search for available retail space by specific neighborhoods or even by a particular street.
Additionally, www.PhiladelphiaRetail.com provides significant demographic information such as population by age, level of education and income by zip code and notes how new downtown housing developments have attracted a more youthful, diverse, affluent and well-educated population. Pedestrian counts show a frequency of over 2,200 pedestrians per hour in more established retail neighborhoods and from 1,100 to 1,700 pedestrians per hour in emerging retail areas. Reports on www.PhiladelphiaRetail.com also show a retail demand of nearly $500 million dollars within the one-mile radius encompassing Center City, thus proving that Philadelphia is a lively and profitable place to do business.
In addition to the Web site, PRMA retail attraction strategies also include broker outreach, participation in ICSC events, direct mail to prospective retailers and tenant representatives, and national and local public relations.
“While we have made significant progress over the past decade, we believe that the Center City experience can be enhanced for workers, residents and visitors through improved retail offerings. This Web site and marketing effort is the start of a collaborative effort that will pay significant dividends in the next several years,” says Levy.
Formed in 2008, the PRMA is comprised of representatives from Center City District, the City of Philadelphia Commerce Department, the Office of the City Representative, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau and Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation with a mission to enhance the quality and quantity of Center City’s retail offerings. PRMA’s new Web site and retail attraction program aim to elevate Philadelphia’s retail market, expand employment opportunities and increase city tax revenues.