Though most shoppers don’t realize it, they are drawn to retail clusters, groupings of retail stores in a contiguous and walkable area. The most obvious example of a retail cluster is a shopping mall, but retail clusters appear in many different settings both urban and suburban. Shoppers like retail and dining clusters because they are convenient, offering multiple shopping and dining options in a manageable area. Clusters help the retailers too, as each store supports the others, combining to make a shopping and dining destination.
In recent years a discernible restaurant cluster has emerged along Gay Street. With so many options, patrons will often head to Gay Street without a plan of where to eat. When one restaurant is full, guests will happily head next door or down the street to dine at another spot.
Most retail clusters are supported by an anchor business, such as a grocery store, a convenience store, a pharmacy or chain store. When one store draws strong traffic, other businesses are drawn to the area. The recent development of Hills Market on Grant Avenue near Gay Street has already drawn leasing interest in that area, months ahead of its opening.
“The emergence of retail clusters in the downtown market is an exciting step forward for retail development in the area,” said Kacey Brankamp, Retail Recruiter for Capital Crossroads SID. “The existing momentum on Gay Street is being augmented by the addition of Hills Market and Grass Skirt. It is exciting to see the retail landscape evolve over time, as more successful businesses lead to new businesses and add to the synergy of the area.”