Market analysis gives picture of shopping area

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By David Meade

Members of the Greater Williamston Business Association recently heard a presentation based on market analysis information being gathered as part of the Envision Williamston process that is currently underway. Tee Coker of Arnett Muldrow and Associates told the business group that overall the area is not doing too bad and is “actually very competitive.”

Coker presented information on purchasing, spending, income and where customers are coming from, and going.

A zip code survey taken in sixteen businesses over a one week period in June showed 2500 customer visits with 65 unique zipcodes and eight different states.

Less than half, forty-two percent, were Williamston residents, with customers from Pelzer, Belton and Piedmont making up another forty-two percent.

Information on income and spending was also presented.

“There is a lot of money leaving the areas right now for a variety of reasons,” Coker said.

Key categories for business opportunity, according to Coker, include a full service restaurant, special food services and sporting goods.

There is also information that the area would support a grocery store, however, according to Coker, “It’s really complicated” due to whether a rumored Walmart may come in and what type store they may have.

The analysis will continue with a retail focused survey. The community survey will ask “what type stores and events do you want to see,” Coker said.

A Charette is also being planned for August 25-27.

The analysis will be followed up with an implementation workshop with short term recommendations.

“It will paint a picture of what Williamston could be,” Coker said. “It will show what you want to see and outline a series of recommendaions you can run with.”

Coker reiterated that Williamston “has a lot of potential” and “a lot to build on.”

The GWBA is making plans for their annual golf tournament Oct. 9.

Organizers will be accepting teams for the tournament which will be held at Saluda Valley Country Club in Williamston.