Fayetteville aims to slow “retail leakage”

In an effort to reduce the number of vacant retail properties, the city of Fayetteville has contracted with an Alabama-based firm to identify and attract new commercial tenants.

The city is paying NextSite, LLC $16,000 per year for three years to analyze retail recruitment opportunities to lessen the “retail leakage” that results when consumers leave certain retail areas or when stores shut down, as Toys R Us recently did at the Fayette Pavilion.

The company uses community peer analysis to learn from similar issues in other cities, and will try to help Fayetteville be proactive in pursuing new retailers, including developing new marketing materials. Interim Economic Development Director Brian Wismer said the first of NextSite’s reports should be issued within a few weeks and will be made public.