News & Case Studies

Cornerstone Alliance Partners with The Retail Coach

August 2, 2018
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – Cornerstone Alliance has partnered with The Retail Coach, the nation’s leading retail recruitment and development firm, to identify prospects to occupy properties within Fairplain Plaza and the surrounding area in Benton Charter Township, Michigan. The six-month partnership began July 27, 2018.

“Retail recruitment is a data-driven science,” said Rob Cleveland, President of Cornerstone Alliance. “We have met with the top firms in the country and attended the largest real estate conference in the world. We’re confident that The Retail Coach is the right partner to maximize the spotlight on our retail trade area that will align national brands to the needs of Berrien County residents. We believe strongly that putting resources into this effort will propel the investment made by developers like Lormax Stern, and grow the retail options in the Twin Cities. We know this will be successful and we plan to use this model to recruit retailers to other municipalities in Michigan’s Great Southwest.”

“This is Rob’s and Cornerstone Alliance’s first push into retail economic development and we are excited to partner with them,” said Kelly Cofer, President/CEO at The Retail Coach. “Benton Charter Township had been super-regional retail destination for years and our assignment is to sustain their existing retail base then identify and recruit new retail and retail development.”

“As one of the largest retail draws in the region, the Fairplain Plaza in Benton Charter Township is a key component to the quality of life in Michigan’s Great Southwest. Our team is excited about working alongside Cornerstone Alliance to support their existing retail tenants as well as identifying new prospects to increase the overall retail opportunities for Berrien and surrounding counties,” said Will Kline, Project Director at The Retail Coach.

The first step in The Retail Coach process is to determine the retail trade area. The retail trade area is defined as the boundary from which Benton Charter Township draws 80-85% of its primary consumers. Once established, The Retail Coach team will conduct a gap/opportunity analysis to identify the retail sectors that the markets primary consumers are leaving the area to purchase. Essential to determining the types of retailers to target for recruitment, the gap/opportunity analysis will identify existing retail gaps, or surpluses and leakages.

With that information, The Retail Coach team will then prepare a full suite of reports and marketing tools to promote Benton Charter Township proactively to retailers and developers. In addition to proactive retail recruitment, The Retail Coach will represent Benton Charter Township at national and regional trade show conferences during the duration of the partnership.

“There is a need for goods and services by our area residents that still isn’t being met,” said Greg Vaughn, Chief Operating Officer at Cornerstone Alliance. “Working with The Retail Coach will allow Benton Charter Township to get the exposure necessary to be considered for new locations by national brands looking to grow in our market. Recruiting a new retailer to Benton Charter Township will create a destination that will benefit the entire regional economy.”

About Cornerstone Alliance
Cornerstone Alliance is a non-profit, investor-governed economic development organization primarily focused on increasing employment opportunities, private sector capital investments and the local tax base in Michigan’s Great Southwest; with specialized business services offered in economically distressed areas.

About The Retail Coach
Founded in 2000 and based out of Tupelo, Mississippi, The Retail Coach is a national retail consulting, market research, and development firm that combines strategy, technology, and creative expertise to develop and deliver high-impact retail recruitment strategies to local governments, chambers of commerce, and economic development organizations. Through its unique Retail360 Process, The Retail Coach offers a fully customized system of products and services that better enable communities to maximize their retail development potential. Their experience in leading municipalities in over 500 communities in 32 states will create better, stronger places to live and work.