The Economic Development Committee would like to share additional information with the residents of the Town which the committee is using in its discussions. Committee member Bryan Koop prepared a demographic study profiling consumers in Sudbury. Mr. Koop is a principal for a national commercial real estate services company specializing in the retailer sector.
Findings of the Demographic Report indicate that Sudbury’s consumer profile is outstanding with Average Household Income ($151,000) in excess of Concord, Wayland and Lexington. Additionally, approximately 45% of adults over the age of 25 have college or graduate school degrees.
Other findings confirm that Sudbury’s population growth will be fueled by families with heads of households between the ages of 35 and 45 years old. Sudbury’s median age is reported as 37.43 years. Mr. Koop commented that the 35-45 year old age bracket is an extremely attractive target to retailers as this group will “out spend” other age brackets by as much as 35%. Sudbury’s demographics are a retailer’s dream – “extremely well educated with high disposable incomes”.
The Committee also asked for an informal survey of national and regional retailer’s perspective of Sudbury as a target market. The survey revealed that Big Box Retailers (such as Best Buy, Home Depot and Walmart) did not favor Sudbury as a target market, citing that Sudbury’s population will never be large enough to support this type of operation, and that Sudbury is not located near or on a regional transportation hub like Framingham/Natick. Sudbury’s consumer profile was, however, appealing to several national and regional smaller store concepts, such as apparel and restaurants. Reasons cited by these retailers for not pursuing Sudbury were availability of sites with sewer, Sudbury’s historic reputation as a challenging municipality for permitting and a limited understanding of the market potential.
Committee member John Barry stated that Big Box Retailers NOT targeting Sudbury matches well with the Sudbury Planning Board’s 1999 Draft Master Plan, “Sustainable Sudbury”, as Big Box Retailers are not in keeping with the Master Plan’s vision for Sudbury. While the study relieves fears of a Big Box invasion, it certainly pointed out that we need to improve on marketing the town to the smaller specialty tenants, letting them know what we have to offer and welcoming their business into town.
Selectwoman Kirsten Roopenian stated “The Economic Development Committee was smart to prepare this study in order to take a step back and understand who the Sudbury consumer really is today, as our profile has changed dramatically. The study highlights that a large portion of Sudbury consumers have service and retail requests that are not being met in town, and that retailers may not be aware of the opportunity.”
The Economic Development Committee has been charged by the Selectmen to investigate and promote economic development in Sudbury’s commercial zones. The twelve member appointed committee is composed of Sudbury citizens with a wide variety of occupational fields including consulting, accounting, law, and commercial real estate and brokerage.