Chicago TREND offers a suite of services that identify neighborhood and strategic retail opportunities, shorten the typical retail development timeline, and provide capital and risk sharing for retailers and developers
Market Data and Analytics – Bringing “Big Data” to Neighborhood Retail Development
Chicago TREND’s ability to enable community change through strategic retail development is dependent upon highly propriety and highly sophisticated data, analytics and predictive models combined with deep qualitative knowledge. The big data analytics are essential to do the following:
- Identify a neighborhood’s type and likely trajectories
- Determine where retail development can influence the neighborhood trajectory and be a driver for community change
- Assess which kind of retail stores in a given location are likely to be financially viable, strengthen the retail corridors and influence the neighborhood trajectory
- Evaluate site-specific market potential by store type and/or store cluster
Chicago TREND has assembled extensive data on neighborhood demographic, business, real estate, and other characteristics covering over 20 years. The team is continuously developing and refining the analytical tools needed to understand consumers’ shopping choices and households’ choices. These tools are necessary to evaluate the feasibility of alternative retail investments, assess their impacts on retail corridor performance, and determine their likely impacts on neighborhoods.
Chicago TREND’s extensive qualitative knowledge about Chicago communities is also an essential component to its market data offerings. Through its partnerships with community organizations, city and civic leaders, and developers, Chicago TREND has deep knowledge of particular communities, their characteristics, likely trajectories, and proposed public and private investments that are likely to shape both retail potential and neighborhood trajectories.
Shopper and Neighborhood Choice Survey
The Chicago TREND Shopper and Neighborhood Choice Survey is a critical component of the Chicago TREND data and analytic services, as the results are used to develop the sophisticated predictive models and understand the choices of consumers and households.
The survey responses provide a detailed picture of shoppers’ demographic characteristics (where they live, work, move from and to, own vs. rent their homes, own car, etc.) and their shopping patterns. The responses are numerous enough to evaluate the determinants of shopping and neighborhood choices and to rank the productivity and attractiveness of neighborhood retail corridors. The survey gives Chicago TREND unique insight into shopping habits, demographic transitions, and residential neighborhood choices. The analytical models based on the survey provide insight into shoppers’ preferences and why they make the choices they do, as well as preferences about residential location and why they chose the neighborhoods in which they live.
The first wave was completed in 2013 by surveying over 8,600 respondents who made 17,000 store visits. The survey collects detailed information on shoppers’ store and neighborhood choices and covers all races and neighborhoods of Chicago. The survey is expanded annually and is in progress now with a goal of 8,500 respondents.
Please take our survey now by clicking the following link. Chicago TREND Survey
Evaluating Site-Specific Sales Potential
For a specific site being considered for a strategic retail development, Chicago TREND can provide extensive market intelligence and data that documents emerging sales potential in addition to current leakage. In collaboration with our “Retailer Coalition of the Willing™,” Chicago TREND can provide valuable site-specific analyses to retailers, designed to complement and enhance their in-house models.
The predictions generated by the analytical models will be enhanced by Chicago TREND’s qualitative knowledge about the surrounding neighborhoods, proposed new investments of all types and their likely timelines, and key local stakeholders. This combination of quantitative analysis and qualitative knowledge creates a much more nuanced understanding of likely impacts than what the data analytics alone can provide.
Chicago TREND connects parties interested in strategic retail development. We maintain relationships with a coalition of retailers interested in urban retail development “Retailer Coalition of the Willing™,” provide assistance to accelerate the development timeline, and initiate new retail development where the data and analytics indicate market opportunities.
Chicago TREND is the nexus of information and networks relating to retail development in Chicago. We connect macro-level infrastructure and institutional investments with micro-level changes, events, and community aspirations.
Chicago TREND has informal agreements with key city departments, such as the Department of Planning and Development, to expedite Chicago TREND-sponsored retail development projects that align with the city’s neighborhood development goals. We advocate to move projects from the pipeline to the finish line more quickly, saving time and money and accelerating neighborhood transformation.
“The Chicago TREND is a resource helping to stimulate retail development in underretailed Chicago neighborhoods. With data, relationships, advocacy, and financing, it bolsters the ability of developers and brokers to attract and secure high-quality tenants.”
– David Doig, President, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Inc.
Chicago TREND provides flexible debt financing that will stay in a transaction long enough to match the lease term of desired retail tenants. We have the flexibility to underwrite subordinate debt for items such as tenant fit-out or franchise fees. Our objective is to lower early-stage risk and incentivize quality retailers to open new stores in transitioning neighborhoods. Chicago TREND financing is designed to complement and leverage developer equity, traditional bank debt, public incentives, and financing from mission-driven lenders, CDFIs, and government programs.
“Chicago TREND conclusions regarding tools needed to increase retail amenities in underinvested communities are corroborated by CCLF’s 2009 State Street Corridor study, which identified low-cost, flexible predevelopment, acquisition, gap, equity, and equity-like financing as products that developers would need to enable them to bring more commercial/retail projects to fruition.”
– Calvin Holmes, President, Chicago Community Loan Fund