Retail Done Well with Sylvia Shaffer

Retail Done Well with Sylvia Shaffer Main Photo

13 Mar 2024

When someone mentions “retail,” oftentimes a person thinks of shopping as an in-store experience, boutique services, or an online transaction. While all are true, retail is an umbrella industry that encompasses other industries from grocery to furniture stores, car dealerships to clothing shops, fast food to gas stations, books to hardware stores, and a host of other goods and services that are sold in direct they-sell-we-buy fashion. Retail is defined as “the sale of commodities or goods in small quantities to ultimate consumers,” says Merriam-Webster.

With the boom of online retail, especially thanks to the pandemic of 2020, brick-and-mortar is still in demand and preferred by many. The City of Kingman is Northern Arizona’s retail hub having over 34M potential shoppers and consumers within a 350-mile radius. Stats like this are why retail is Kingman’s second-largest employment sector.

Stellar Sales with Sylvia Shaffer

Ensuring current and potential retailers can withstand employment and consumer demand keeps Project Manager Sylvia Shaffer quite busy!  As a retail recruitment and small business retention specialist, Shaffer’s main goals are bringing new retail to Kingman while keeping existing retail all for the benefit of enhancing Kingman’s quality of life. As she says, “There’s never a slow day in Economic Development.”

Sylvia Shaffer moved to Kingman in 2005 and began working for Mohave County in the Planning and Zoning department. In 2014, she was hired by the City of Kingman as a planner. In 2019, she transferred to Economic Development as a project manager. They say, “Knowledge is power.” Shaffer uses her planning, zoning, development process, and retail knowledge to power forward for Kingman’s retailers and residents daily.

We asked about a day in the busy life of the second-largest employment sector in the city. According to Shaffer, “A typical workday is very busy with a variety of tasks to work on like reaching out to prospective retailers, connecting with prospective retailers, attending pre-application meetings for commercial development, working with current retailers on the Facade Improvement Program, Murals Incentive Program, or answering general questions they may have, running cell data reports to see what a consumer traffic count is for a particular area, providing demographic reports to prospective retailers, hosting site visits, meeting with local commercial property owners, attending conferences and networking. Yet, this is not all-inclusive as there is so much more.” No matter how busy Shaffer’s days are, she goes in with daily zeal and positive energy because, as she says, “I love this job and will always work hard to bring new retail, dining, and shopping opportunities to Kingman. As a Kingman resident, I want the same options as my neighbors and community.”

Shaffer’s short-term goal is to land a few new dining options, clothing, shoes, and healthy grocery stores. Her long-term goals include landing much larger and more popular retailer brands, since she’s received resident requests for Hobby Lobby, Costco, Kohl’s, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, El Pollo Loco, and The Cheesecake Factory. She diligently reaches out to each brand upon receiving requests.

We asked Shaffer how the community can help achieve these goals. “The community has done very well in communicating what retail establishments they would like to see in Kingman, and I always welcome suggestions to add to the Kingman Retail Wishlist. I welcome commercial property owners within city limits to contact me anytime to discuss their property which allows me to know more about vacant commercial land and suite opportunities for prospective retailers. I would love to hear from any community members interested in becoming a franchise owner and connect them with resources to embark on that journey. Each applicant eligible to become a franchisee will help bring new retail brands to Kingman,” - Sylvia Shaffer.

Choose Kingman

Project Manager Sylvia Shaffer chose Kingman in 2005 because of family first and the favorable quality of life to raise her children. Kingman offers an affordable cost of living, a great year-round climate, a welcoming small-town feel, plenty of outdoor recreation, and close proximity to major big cities.

Retail and tourism go hand-in-hand. With over 130k annual visitors, retailers benefit from Kingman’s high-volume tourism. Site selectors can be like Shaffer and choose Kingman. Contact Kingman Economic Development to learn more about why you should choose Kingman to expand your brand, relocate your business, or start your company planting new roots here.