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City of White Settlement adds retail economic development plan to its focus on growth
By media release
Apr 19, 2014
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Dallas, Texas -- As a suburb of Fort Worth, White Settlement is benefitting from the tremendous growth in the Tarrant County region.

The city was selected as the destination for a new 16-acre Hawaiian Falls entertainment complex opening Memorial Day weekend. The waterpark and adventure park will create 250 to 300 seasonal jobs and 30 to 50 year-round jobs.

 “With a major water park, the year-round adventure park, and the Aloha Conference Center, tens of thousands of new visitors will come to our area every year to enjoy the facilities.  Our citizens can’t wait to welcome guests from all over North and West Texas to White Settlement,” said Mayor Jerry Burns. “This development along with our growing base of industry and hospitality amenities presents an ideal time to take a pro-active approach in shaping our retail environment.”

(L-R) White Settlement Mayor Jerry Burns, city manager Linda Ryan and Hawaiian Falls CEO David Busch photo by David Alvey

To pursue its potential, the City of White Settlement has tapped the expertise of The Retail Coach, a national retail recruitment and development consulting firm.

“We want to identify White Settlement’s additional opportunities for retail expansion, whether that means attracting a new retailer or helping our existing businesses expand their products and services to meet local consumer demand,” said Mayor Burns.

Retail Study Components

Through its partnership with The Retail Coach, the City will be able to assess actual consumer demand through studies that include a Retail Trade Area determination and Retail Gap/Opportunity Analysis.

The Retail Gap/Opportunity Analysis will illuminate which of 52 retail categories in the White Settlement community are exhibiting deficiencies or leakages.  A leakage occurs when residents shop in surrounding communities instead of their own hometown.

“When White Settlement residents shop in neighboring communities, dollars escape from the local economy and result in lower levels of economic activity and local prosperity,” explained Aaron Farmer, Vice President of The Retail Coach. “We will be able to quantify the retail sales losses to surrounding towns with larger, more developed retail sectors.”

License Plate Survey

The Retail Trade Area determination will include a license plate survey in which The Retail Coach staff collect and catalog license plate samples from consumers shopping in White Settlement at selected retailers and visiting hotels and the new water park.

A search of their addresses will determine the locational sources of these customers. The consumer samples are then plotted to develop and support a thorough picture of the distance consumers are traveling from to shop, dine, stay or play in White Settlement.

Workforce Population Study

With its growing industries, another important component of the project will be a study of the local workplace population. The Retail Coach will provide an employment summary report detailing the total establishments by industry, associated establishment and employee counts within White Settlement. 

"This insight into the 'work here' population versus the 'live here population is particularly of importance to restaurants as they evaluate the potential for both a strong lunch and dinner trade," noted Farmer.

Drawing upon results from market research, The Retail Coach will work with City staff and the council to develop a Retail Economic Development Plan that includes targeted retailer and developer recruitment.