Is there an app for finding apples locally grown?

The October edition of Shopping Centers Today, the trade journal of the International Council of Shopping Centers, had an interesting article titled “Keeping Up With Smart Phones: Mobile Devices Pose a Major Opportunity — and Threat.” For rural retailers competing for customers’ purchases with the big chains, one lesson to be learned from the article is that technology is here to stay. More and more prime purchasing power demographics are adopting technology and utilizing it for purchases or, at least, for the making the purchase decision. One thing talked about in the article was the ability to scan a bar code on an item with a smart phone and find the prices of that item at nearby stores and online (my wife does this.) So, what does this mean for a rural retailer? Good question. Maybe a sign that says “yes, I know Costco has this item for $10 less, but I don’t charge for a membership, you don’t have to spend that extra gas and time and I won’t ask you to take it home in a pickle box!” Maybe target people who don’t use technology — forget the emails and hand write postcards telling the tech-averse that you’re so old fashioned, you’ll ‘ring’ up the sale on an abacus. The big thing that I think rural retailers should remember is to focus on customer service and creating a unique shopping experience. As technology makes appearing to be a market’s cost leader more difficult, larger retailers will probably focus on becoming more warm and fuzzy with the customer experience, the thing that comes naturally for rural retail in places like Hickman County.

About Daryl Phillips, CEcD

I am a professional economic developer. I presently work for communities and companies in developing and implementing workforce and economic development solutions as CEO of Phillips Economic Development Solutions (Phi EDS). Prior to September 2017, I was the economic development professional who served a community team of elected officials, business people, community leaders and dedicated stakeholders for economic development in Cheatham County, Tennessee (pop. 39,880) and its four towns. During my five-year tenure, I served the team as Cheatham County grew over 1,700 jobs, turned around population declines at the start of this decade into healthy population growth, increased tourism expenditures 20.3% and local tax revenue from tourism 25.4%, grew sales tax revenue 36%, focused on developing the local workforce and was recognized by SmartAsset as having the 9th highest Incoming Investment Index of all the 95 counties in Tennessee. I am a member of International Economic Development Council, Southern Economic Development Council, Tennessee Economic Development Council and International Council of Shopping Centers. I have earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification from National Development Council and hold a Master of Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University.
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