Market study gives insight into Coon Rapids economy
Pizzeria and women’s clothing boutique top consumer demands
Coon Rapids businesses are doing well according to an extensive market study conducted last fall. The study also identified opportunities for economic growth and provided the Main Street Coon Rapids (MSCR) program strategies to capitalize on those opportunities. Another positive of the study showed high approval ratings from Coon Rapids consumers.
Business Outlook. According to the MSCR Market Study, Coon Rapids businesses have a healthy outlook. Nearly 54 percent of businesses plan to expand services or product lines in the next year or two, and 61 percent of businesses said their gross revenue increased in 2020 as compared to 2019.
“I love the friendliness and small-town hospitality from your small businesses. I was given the name of a salon from others who drive from the Des Moines area to her and love it!” said a consumer survey participant.
Consumer patterns depicting the multi-purpose nature and appeal of the downtown were reinforced by data showing more than 50 percent of consumers visit the downtown area on a daily or weekly basis to do errands or for office and service-related purposes; about 34 percent for eating, drinking and/or entertainment; and nearly 48 percent to shop.
“For a community our size we have amenities/features/businesses that exceed or better larger communities in our area. We are very lucky to have the number of businesses that we do, and we need to take pride in our existing businesses,” commented a consumer survey participant.
Data also revealed that the Main Street district is the optimal site to locate a business based on foot traffic. Four of the top five businesses most frequented in Coon Rapids are located downtown. The top five businesses in order of most frequented are Frohlich’s SuperValu, Hardware Hank, Brown Bag & Co., New Hope Bargain Shoppe, and Dollar General (DG is the only store not located downtown).
“I love your warm inviting Main Street and can’t wait for my hairdresser to relocate there and be part of that. Most towns’ Main Streets look rundown and vacant. Yours is filled and well maintained,” added a consumer survey participant.
Retail Gaps and Opportunities. Consumer respondents identified six improvements they want to see in Coon Rapids. They want more businesses, dining options and housing. Improved customer service/hours of operation at existing businesses was mentioned as was a focus on deferred maintenance/community clean up. Lastly, respondents like the addition of more events to bring people to Coon Rapids.
“The community and the events offered (is what I love most). They always welcome people from surrounding towns as well as their own,” said a consumer survey participant.
In a global economy, it isn’t surprising that 95 percent of consumer survey participants made at least one online purchase, or left Coon Rapids to make a purchase, within the past year. By identifying what products they are leaving to purchase, our retailers can expand their product lines or new businesses can be recruited to fill the product leakages. Nearly 58 percent of people reported that women’s clothing was the number one item people left Coon Rapids to purchase or purchased online. That was followed by giftware, electronics, home furnishings, men’s clothing, beauty supplies and more.
A women’s clothing boutique was also the top type of new business that might make people visit downtown more often, followed by butcher/meat shop, variety store, sporting goods/outdoors store, arts/crafts/hobbies, outdoor recreation, pet store/boarding/grooming and home furnishings.
As for dining, 45 percent of respondents would visit Coon Rapids more often if a pizzeria were available. Other eating establishments in order of ranking were steakhouse, family restaurant, brewery, ice cream/sweet shop, deli/sandwich shop, breakfast/brunch restaurant and casual dining eatery.
“If anyone is considering starting a new business or think they would like running their own, feel free to stop by the MSCR office for assistance. We can connect you to resources, offer suggestions or connect you to a building owner with a space for sale or lease,” said MSCR Executive Director Katie Mason. “The survey data shows us what consumers want. We’d love to assist start-ups or expansions in our community to fill these needs.”
Consumer thoughts on Coon Rapids. Overwhelmingly, consumers agreed that Coon Rapids is safe, clean, inviting and a good investment. Sixty-one percent of consumers think Coon Rapids is improving while 32 percent think Coon Rapids is steady or holding its own.
“CR is a great little town with a desirable small-town culture to preserve and support, which is how it can flourish,” according to a consumer survey response.
Housing. Housing has long been on the radar for community leaders. According to this survey, of the 182 survey respondents who don’t live in Coon Rapids, 53 said they want to live here and 76 said they would consider moving here. From there, 122 said they’d prefer to own versus rent. When asked what kind of housing survey participants look for, single family (105) was the top pick followed by townhouses, condos, apartments and senior housing.
Both businesses and consumer participants put a priority on improving and creating more housing: 92 percent of businesses and 67 percent of consumers.
What next? Three strategies were developed based on the results of the Market Study and Strategies. They will provide MSCR direction for potential projects, actions, and initiatives that support and align with the community’s vision for Coon Rapids. The strategies are as follows:
• Improve the Housing Options in Coon Rapids. Improve the existing housing market to provide quality upper story housing options to address the current void in housing options available in the community.
• Create a Healthy Business Climate. Focus on strengthening current businesses and recruiting new businesses to fill voids in the marketplace.
• Improve the Physical Appearance and Infrastructure Downtown. Focus on improving streetscape elements and derelict properties.
A full list of action items has been developed for each strategy. Click here to download the transformation strategies report.
Market Study and Strategies Process. In the fall of 2021, MSCR went through the Main Street Iowa Market Study and Strategies. It engaged community members, area residents, businesses and other stakeholders to gain an understanding of local and regional market conditions and trends impacting the district’s position in the market and opportunities for the future. Data and insights are based on an extensive review of background information and current market data; input provided via consumer and business surveys; and direction and leadership provided by MSCR leaders, volunteers and community members.
Consumer Survey Demographics
• 379 participants in the survey
• 52% live within the Coon Rapids city limits
• 26% live within 20 miles of Coon Rapids
• 22% live more than 20 miles from Coon Rapids
• 56% work out of town
• 61% are between the ages of 35-64
• 20% are under the age of 35; 19% over the age 64
Business Survey Demographics
• 45 businesses participated in the survey out of a potential 89 businesses asked (51% response rate)
Full business, housing and consumer reports are available by clicking on the links below.
406 Main Street, Coon Rapids, IA 50058 | 712-999-GROW | [email protected]