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$843 million in retail sales puts Greer in the crosshairs of $1 billion

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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The new Wild Ace and Pizza Pub is the first construction in the central business district since the City Hall and Municipal complexes opened.
 

Jim Fair

The new Wild Ace and Pizza Pub is the first construction in the central business district since the City Hall and Municipal complexes opened.

 



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Aspen Dental and a nutrition store will open in the first quarter of 2015 across from Target. Five Guys restaurant will open at Suber Commons within the next two weeks.
 

Jim Fair

Aspen Dental and a nutrition store will open in the first quarter of 2015 across from Target. Five Guys restaurant will open at Suber Commons within the next two weeks.

 

A billion dollar laugh. 

That is what was generated Tuesday night when it was announced at City Hall that Greer’s booming economy grossed $843.5 million in retail sails for fiscal year 2014.

Reno Deaton, executive director of the Greer Development Corporation, and Mark Owens, president and CEO of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce, jointly announced at the city council meeting, that city businesses earned $843,576,165 in gross retail sales – a record for the fourth consecutive year and an increase of more than 13 percent compared to FY2013.

The total is a 57 percent increase compared to the pre-recession high in 2008.

The gross retail sales figure includes $541,173,047 in the portion of the Greer located in Greenville County and $302,403,118 in the portion located in Spartanburg County.

The laugh was brought about when Mayor Rick Danner asked Deaton if the announcement would be $1 billion in gross sales next year. That is now a target realistically projected to occur in FY2016.

"When you look at it on paper, it's kind of amazing," Owens said.

“The trend has been phenomenal,” Deaton said. “Greer is a destination for retail. You add the big boxes, hardware, groceries, automobile dealerships and apparel and Greer is a preferred and logical place to shop.”

It was the first time Deaton has mentioned Greer as a “destination” for retail although Greer Development and the Greer Chamber have feverishly worked to promote the central business district (Greer Station) and the city as an alternative to its next door cities.

“These gross retail sales figures are a great indicator of the overall business climate in the greater Greer area. We are proud to be a part of such a vibrant community that fosters economic growth,” Owens said. "It's neat to see some of the existing businesses downtown having upticks in retail sales."

Sales from the Spartanburg County part of Greer surprised some council members. “That reflects the maturing of that part of the Highway 29 corridor and the automobile dealerships, Greer’s Auto Mile, if you will,” Deaton said.

The Chamber's "Keep the Green" campaign has topped $205,000 since its inception. Owens said he expects that to increase with companies tying in bonus and safety programs into the promotion. ""It helps keep the dollars in Greer and helps local businesses tied in with the Chamber to benefit."

Kohl’s opened last month and Five Guys restaurant is scheduled to open within the next two weeks at Suber Commons. An Aspen Dental and nutrition store is being developed across from Target. Wild Ace is scheduled to open its new, contemporary aviation-themed restaurant at a former undeveloped site downtown next year. The Blue Ridge Brewery Company has publicly announced its plans to open at the former site of The Cazbah. That, combined with a housing boom reaching nearly 1,300, developed or planned, promises continued growth.

“Greer is grossing more in retail than some counties in South Carolina,” Deaton said. “And next year is looking better than this year.”

“We’re obviously thrilled because these figures directly reflect what consumers and retailers already know, the City of Greer is a great place to do business,” City Administrator Ed Driggers said. “The Highway 29 corridor continues to attract exciting new businesses with easy access to consumers. Greer Station, our central business district, has been a crucial part of the city’s post-recession recovery and is a destination for shoppers and diners from across the Upstate.”

 

 

 

 

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