Local Retail

A unique opportunity to meet today’s municipal economic challenge.

DEMARCOM’s practice assists the municipality in managing the urban commercial framework, an increasingly crucial municipal concern. Urban land is subject to increasing demographic, economic, land use, and fiscal pressures. Here is a brief presentation of each of these urban pressures.

The Importance of Economic Development

In 2010, Harris Center Memorial University analyzed 88 municipalities in Newfoundland Labrador. Forty-eight percent (48%) of the territories indicated that economic risk is one of the most significant community threats. The nature of the risk varies depending on the local business context. Still, the essence of risk is a deterioration of economic conditions that can affect employment, investment, and citizens’ quality of life.

Today, retail occupies a significant range in the urban economy, which is growing to the industrial sector’s detriment. The place occupied by commerce in the standardized property assessment varies from 9% to more than 20% of the municipal tax base, depending on its size. It thus becomes relevant to manage urban commercial health … and wealth!



The Value of the Local Economy

The local economy is a mode of organization around the direct relationship: the relationship of businesses with consumers, relationships between businesses, anchoring in local life. This economy’s characteristic is the optimization of independent companies that meet local and surrounding consumer needs. However, banners, franchises, and corporate stores’ influence of corporate decisions set businesses’ distribution in the territory, ignoring urban centers. It is thus necessary to “recover” retail companies that will fill an incomplete local offer. In return, these new settlements create jobs, investments, and more urban activity.

The local economy is also a way of optimizing the local commercial offer and reducing economic dependence on other territories.

Municipal Organic Growth

A city is constantly changing. If the changes seem barely noticeable, they still take place and take different forms. The establishment of a car dealership on the outskirts, a motorway development leading to downtown businesses, a department store away from the business center, and others represent all projects that threaten the urban balance. However, urban planning should serve as a guide to business development and not the other way around.

There are ways to ensure a balance of urban functions while integrating development projects. Most of the risks associated with growth are attributable to business ventures.

Density in Response to the Scarcity of Space

This phenomenon affects municipalities unequally. For those targeted by this issue, there are forms of space management that ensure economic growth while guaranteeing real estate densification. This subject’s experiences demonstrate the benefits of a business concentration rather than dissemination of trade in the territory.

Retail Optimization

Optimization refers to the fullest possible development of the potential for setting up businesses in the territory. From a commercial balance sheet, this involves identifying the types of locally desirable businesses that meet the needs not served by the existing business supply. Extension to local services (health, financial, business, and professional) is possible. The result will be greater autonomy for consumers, who then reduce their travel to other territories to meet their needs.

Planning for the Future

The city’s available and unbuilt space will lead to new uses. Whether it is a future residential district, the reconversion of quays, or the city’s natural extension, the territory’s planning must provide harmony between these future functions.

In the retail sector, there are various events: the development of residential real estate projects, the conversion of old buildings into housing, the requalification of some industrial buildings. All these projects require a commercial contribution that must be subject to specific parameters in terms of regulatory details, precision in business offers, real estate density, parking, and others.