First Selectman Mike Tetreau announced today that a team of MBA students from the John F. Welch College of Business at Sacred Heart University (SHU) will help the Town of Fairfield conduct a retail market assessment of the downtown area for their Capstone Project, and he encourages residents and non-residents alike to take part in an online survey at https://wcob.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_bxtGhLNnLVcGkyV. The survey will be available through June 20, 2015.
“This a great opportunity for the public to tell us what they think in terms of their shopping experiences downtown and what types of stores they would most like to see,” stated First Selectman Tetreau. Fairfield Director of Community and Economic Development Mark Barnhart, who is overseeing the work of the student team, added, “I often receive suggestions from people looking to bring certain types of businesses to Fairfield, and this survey will help inform our work.”
The purpose of the survey is to assess the strength of the local retail market, to identify opportunities for new retail development and to develop strategies for business retention, recruitment and investment.
“While Fairfield Center is thriving and commercial vacancy rates remain one of the lowest in Fairfield County, the data collected through this study will enable us to develop effective strategies to support our existing retail base and seek out complementary businesses that might do well here,” said Mr. Barnhart.
As part of the project, the students have been asked to develop a consumer profile based on the defined trade market area, identify gaps and opportunities and conduct a survey to gauge impressions of Fairfield as a shopping destination and to assess consumer demand. The survey instrument can be found at https://wcob.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_bxtGhLNnLVcGkyV
Mr. Barnhart noted that the Town and Fairfield Chamber of Commerce have worked with local retailers to promote the buy local theme and to develop and support various retail-based initiatives such as Sidewalk Sales, Fairfield Restaurant Week and the Holiday Shop & Stroll. “It makes sense to periodically take stock of what we are doing and consider what more we can do to help support local businesses and improve the overall business climate. This is really a great opportunity to take advantage of some very talented students to help us gain better insights,” Mr. Barnhart concluded.