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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Local Market Research: What Next for Madison Retail?

New Madville Times poll! What sort of retail store does Madison need most? I've listed a few possibilities in the left sidebar: mark your choice, or click "Other" and leave your recommendation and rationale here in the comment section!

Now I know some folks might say, "Forget retail—let's draw a big factory or [Rod's favorite] call center and get some jobs!" That point is well-taken, and we'll cover getting people jobs so they can buy from more retailers later.

But for now, let's focus on the consumer side: what's Madison need? Lake County neighbors, what are you driving to Sioux Falls to buy that some entrepreneur could make a living selling here? And more distant neighbors (Steve, Travis, Kyle, et al.), what legal merchandise could we sell here that would get you to gas up the truck and come to Madison?

Why am I asking? Well, someone's got to do some market research around here. Maybe the LAIC is doing it... the difference is, I won't charge you for the results. (Donations are, of course, always welcome—hit that tip jar below the poll!)

Poll closes Tuesday, Jan. 19, breakfast time. Vote now, and stay tuned!


  1. Michael Black1/12/2010 8:02 PM

    For retail, we could use a store where you could buy nice clothes and shoes for kids.

  2. Where is the ALL OF THE ABOVE button?

  3. Point taken, Rod! But life is all about choices. We can work to build all of them... but let's pick one to start with.

    But wait a minute: maybe we'd get more synergy by scoring them all at once. Hmm... maybe we could build a new strip mall... on the Rosebud property?

  4. Michael Black1/13/2010 8:14 AM

    More insurance agencies

  5. A wise person once said - Be careful what you wish for. If a Walmart comes to town, I think it is only a matter of time and Pamida and maybe others will close. If HyVee comes to town, the same can be said about Sunshine. All we will be doing is trading employers with no increase in available jobs. We need to find a way to increase manufacturing or farm related jobs.

    Steven Kant

  6. Although it probalbly would not be feasable, a Wal Mart would be good for Madison. You look at communities with new Wal Marts, and look at all the spinoff that happens in the area.

    A good example is the east side Wal Mart in Sioux Falls. Once they annoucned their plans, look at all the development that surrounded in the area.

    Mitchell is also a good example. Once Cabellas set up shop, look what happened there.

    I think in the short term Wal Mart is bad for existing businesses, but it also creates an opportunity for new innovative folks.

    Wal Mart does create one thing every retail business is looking for, a high traffic area.

    When we decided to start a business, we considered Madison, but the traffic count at our current location (4 million visitors to Yellowstone last season) sealed the deal for us.

    I give the Madison Chamber credit for working their tails off promoting Madison. I hope over time these efforts pay off, and I think it will. With the growth of Sioux Falls, over time some people will be looking to slow down a little and find a smaller community to live in, and Madison would be a perfect fit. When that happens, many opportunities will present themselves to those willing to take a risk.

  7. I'm not sure if another Wal-Mart is a good idea, per se, considering there are already five of them in a 70-mile radius of Madison (one in Brookings, two in Sioux Falls, one in Mitchell, and one in Huron). To me, that seems dangerously close to over-saturating the area.

    Perhaps we can look at something like Shopko... to mix it up a little bit.

    But then, I could be wrong.

  8. Last time I knew I think Shopko and Pamida were the same company, so you couldn't bring that into town.

    I agree with Michael, that having a good clothing store would be nice.

    But one thing my family would like to see is something like the East Dakotah Coop in Sioux Falls, where you can buy organic and alternative foods. We probably spend 85% of our grocery budget there.



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