Survey Being Taken On Downtown Retail Shopping Needs And Habits

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It's a simple survey, but an organization that promotes Downtown Houston business hopes 20 questions will help them pinpoint how to attract more retailers to the area. The move comes after the loss later this year of a longtime downtown department store.

Mayor Annise Parker created a downtown retail task force this month to study options for department stores and major retailers. Not long after that task force was created, Macy's announced it was closing its downtown Houston location this spring. But creating a vibrant shopping environment is critical to the success and growth of downtown.

Bob Eury is executive director of the Houston Downtown Management District. He says a short, 20 question shopping survey has been released to find out what people want when it comes to retail shopping options downtown.

"Anybody from the public can take it, that's fine. If you want to drive downtown and shop we love you, okay? But certainly workers and those living downtown or near downtown, are probably the target market we think that's gonna be most interested in shopping type retail."

He says the survey hopes to find out what type of shopping is needed, the environment, the shopping frequency and what types of stores people want to see downtown.

"With Macy's closing, in a way what we're trying to do at this point is make a little bit more future looking blue sky, what would you like to see, what kinds of shopping opportunities would you like to see in the downtown area. Not necessarily just limited to what has been here traditionally."

Like a lot of Texas cities, Houston has been working to revitalize its downtown, and identifying a retail environment is essential.

"There are new products that are developed by some of the major retailers that go into these areas. There are other smaller, but well known retailers that people demand. Some are very interested in these urban settings, others don't want any part of it. And so, it's sort of a unique group of retailers that probably one might find in this setting."

The Mgt District has done similar retail studies and surveys in the past, but Eury says they anticipate a huge response to the survey, which will help the mayor's task force identify the future of downtown Houston. You can take the survey by going to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/downtownshopping.

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Pat Hernandez

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Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...