On Thursday afternoon the members of the Forney Chamber of Commerce were provided an in-depth update on the current status of retail growth in the city by Forney Economic Development Executive Director Warren Ketteman.
After comically telling a story about where he bought his suit jacket, Director Ketteman stated “That’s what is happening out there. People are closing their doors because we shop differently now. The retail world has changed drastically.
The regular old retail stuff, shopping malls and stuff, guy’s that day is gone. What people are looking for are more retail type centers for their neighborhoods. Little retail centers. Or what I will call ‘destination retail’, dining with entertainment those types of things.”
While detailing several reasons why large retailers are hesitant to establish locations in Forney, Director Ketteman spoke about why Amazon recently declined to consider Forney for their newest location.
Director Ketteman said “One of the major things they (Amazon) wanted was mass transit to the door because they’re talking about 50,000 employees traveling to the structure when it gets built. So it is an elimination game. These folks have all kinds of choices. If you don’t meet their criteria they get rid of you, which whittles it down to whoever is left. So you have to try and stay in the game.”
While discussing the current state of retail development in Forney, Ketteman said “We have a retail leakage report and we put that out on our website, so you can get it there. It’s pretty sobering when you look at it. It tells you what we’re doing locally here in Forney, and it also tells you what we’re losing or leaking out of our community.”
Explaining he said “Two-hundred and ten million dollars a year is leaking out of Forney, retail wise, going elsewhere. And we’re all guilty of that because some of it, you just can’t buy here.”
Forney taxpayers are invited to view to below videos of Forney EDC Executive Director discussing retail establishments proposed to come to Forney.
Written by: Denise Bell