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Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol The Tri-Cities area
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:39 PM
 
30 posts, read 69,183 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post

I have no idea how many of the stores in Kingsport are hanging on. There is virtually nothing of note in Kingsport that isn't done better in Bristol/JC.
Having worked in retail I can actually tell you that Kingsport holds it own in sales compared to JC. It's not that bad really but many of the same stores are nicer/larger in JC. Except for Target, the Target in Kingsport and Bristol are quite nice but the JC one is terrible it lacks a pharmacy, Starbucks, or Pizza Hut Express and has no frozen food all of which are carried in Kingsport and Bristol. Johnson City really needs a new larger Target.
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Tri-Cities, TN
185 posts, read 236,857 times
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With regard to Target, I'd love to see the one in JC updated or enlarged.

It's also going to be interesting to see how and if the northwest side of JC is going to be impacted at all by Food Lion moving to the corner of Sunset and State of Franklin. It puts it in a much better location for the higher incomes up that way and a nice new store will be a great draw (especially compared to the one this is replacing). I have a feeling the Kroger on Sunset is going to either be forced to update or close because of this as well.

I haven't really been up to Bristol much to see the Pinnacle area to pass judgement on if it will be successful, but I think the malls along 81 are a big example on something much discussed on here. The three cities of the Tri-Cities don't seem to work together well, more like they are in competition with each other. While I think the area can support a lot, I don't think it can support three large shopping areas along 81. The one I think that will be the biggest flop is the Tri-Cities Crossing. While small, the mall in JC is actually pretty decent. Moving stores up that far out of town is crazy in my opinion, especially when there are better options closer to town and I-26.
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:28 AM
 
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The Pinnacle is definitely going to be the one that will do the best, I think it will do very well in the area. Tri-Cities Crossing is a joke not one single tenant has signed on yet and Kingsport has handled that "shopping center" so badly screwing up almost everything about it. I hope something comes in there and does well but I'm skeptical and I'm sure whatever becomes of that regardless will be a huge disappointment from the original plans.

I think the Falls is going to fall short as well although not a failure but it seems to be delayed and they've had some issues. So far the Pinnacle is not only on schedule but actually is ahead of schedule and it's been a smooth ride for them.
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:34 AM
 
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Back on topic I still wonder who those two large unannounced as of yet tenants are at The Pinnacle. Personally I hope it's Macy's and Costco but that's wishful thinking especially on getting both. I know Dillard's has been looking at putting a store in the Tri-Cities so I see that as a strong possible store although I'm hoping it's not them. I've never been impressed with Dillard's to me its on the same level as Belk but far more expensive. There was a rumor on here a while ago that BJ's Wholesale Club was looking at Bristol and I can almost see them coming to the area instead of Costco. I guess time will tell and we'll know more next year about The Pinnacle.
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Old 11-11-2014, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,514 posts, read 14,771,955 times
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Quote:
It's also going to be interesting to see how and if the northwest side of JC is going to be impacted at all by Food Lion moving to the corner of Sunset and State of Franklin. It puts it in a much better location for the higher incomes up that way and a nice new store will be a great draw (especially compared to the one this is replacing). I have a feeling the Kroger on Sunset is going to either be forced to update or close because of this as well.
Kroger has long held a dominant share of the market in the Tri-Cities, among the crowd that finds Ingles too expensive (or too far out of town, in the case of Johnson City). When I lived in Memphis, Kroger was getting squeezed on all sides by the expansion of Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Sprouts and (probably in the next decade) Publix. They closed a few underperforming stores and made massive investments to the stronger stores. Johnson City will likely see the same especially in the Browns Mill store, which is near much more affluent neighborhoods than its ETSU location. Kroger is in direct competition with Publix, and the latter is making pretty swift moves into Kroger's territory.

Having said all that, buy your groceries from the farmers in the area.

Quote:
The three cities of the Tri-Cities don't seem to work together well, more like they are in competition with each other. While I think the area can support a lot, I don't think it can support three large shopping areas along 81.
I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that not too many people commute between the cities. Sure, it happens - especially for residents who live in Piney Flats, Blountville or Gray - but I lived in Johnson City for years, and I know next to nothing about Kingsport except its downtown antique stores, and Bristol except for when I went to Rhythm & Roots. I found the other cities sort of creepy and foreign - a little slice of podunk. That thinking also creeps up the political chain, and also forces retailers to split their attentions among the residents. The cities are too small and too far apart to really act regionally on the retail side (different story for workforce development or business retention/expansion, but that's off topic). If they were each double their size, then their distances wouldn't be as much of an issue.
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Old 11-12-2014, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
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Quote:
I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that not too many people commute between the cities. Sure, it happens - especially for residents who live in Piney Flats, Blountville or Gray - but I lived in Johnson City for years, and I know next to nothing about Kingsport except its downtown antique stores, and Bristol except for when I went to Rhythm & Roots. I found the other cities sort of creepy and foreign - a little slice of podunk. That thinking also creeps up the political chain, and also forces retailers to split their attentions among the residents. The cities are too small and too far apart to really act regionally on the retail side (different story for workforce development or business retention/expansion, but that's off topic). If they were each double their size, then their distances wouldn't be as much of an issue.
This is very true. If i had not had jobs in Bristol and Kingsport I probably would rarely visit these cities. Also to me living in Johnson City, Bristol and Kingsport are sort of "foreign" feeling; definitely a different vibe than one finds in Johnson City. From a retail standpoint, splitting the Tri-Cities into two metros makes sense in terms of where people will travel to spend money. Sullivan/Hawkins County up into SW Virginia is will be served by the Pinnacle along with existing retail in Kingsport while Washington, Carter, and Unicoi counties (and possibly Greene although it is not in the MSA) will continue to go to Johnson City. I believe this is why you see a duplication of stores between the two MSA's and why you can't really factor in the total Tri-Cities population (500,000+) when discussing potential retailers.
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Old 11-25-2014, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
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Not sure if mentioned, but I heard that Lowe's will be moving to the Falls at exit 5 and closing its exit 7 location, which I assume will house a new business as that is a booming area.
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Old 11-29-2014, 12:17 AM
 
745 posts, read 2,020,869 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
The infrastructure improvements are perhaps needed in certain areas, but it doesn't fix the underlying problem - the area needs more people who have money to invest or spend in/at businesses. A bunch of folks making $10-$12/hr at Citi, ACT, the manufacturers, etc, aren't going to drive the economy, nor is attracting wealthy, but economically less active, Yankee retirees.
This is an issue I would make a huge point of and I could probably write an essay on. However, to keep it brief, you can't just compare the population of the Tri-Cities vs. Greenville, SC, Roanoke, VA, or anywhere else. Mean and median income of the Tri-Cities is far lower and if you want to open a business you have to sell things to people with money. Even jobs that should have good salaries pay less in this region. Part of it is due to ETSU and a lack of research dollars compared to Va Tech, SC State, etc. ETSU pays $10K/year less than comparable universities for many professor positions. MSHA is still for-profit and on the verge of a monopoly and offer much lower salaries to physicians, nurses, etc. This has led to several issues including an abysmal rate of retaining medical students and residents from here which has led to a much higher percentage of foreign-born physicians in this area who send money back home rather than spending it here. Part of it is just businesses taking advantage of the lower cost of living and lack of an income tax in Tennessee.
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenladybug817 View Post
With regard to Target, I'd love to see the one in JC updated or enlarged.

It's also going to be interesting to see how and if the northwest side of JC is going to be impacted at all by Food Lion moving to the corner of Sunset and State of Franklin. It puts it in a much better location for the higher incomes up that way and a nice new store will be a great draw (especially compared to the one this is replacing). I have a feeling the Kroger on Sunset is going to either be forced to update or close because of this as well.
I've long had a theory that the Target is waiting on K-Mart to go out of business and then they will take over and renovate the much larger K-Mart building on State of Franklin. There's really not a lot of land left in JC for a new superstore in established retail corridors on Roan St or St of Franklin, perhaps around the Hamilton Place Town Center but that site has suddenly become less attractive for anybody selling groceries because of the new Food City you referenced. I also have a feeling this Food City, with gas n' go, in-house smoker, and pizzeria will attract a lot of people that aren't going to the current store on Market Street now but I don't think the Sunset Blvd Kroger is teetering on being out of business. Kroger is a huge corporation, much larger than Food City or even Target, with deep pockets and I expect they will heavily update that store soon, especially if sales drop.

Regarding the Pinnacle, I could definitely see going to the Pinnacle for the experience of going to Bass Pro. But I don't know that I will spend a lot of money there other than a few times a year. Same for Cabela's. I don't know why I'd go for much else they've announced. There's a Belk at the JC Mall and the same for many of the other stores including Pier 1, Marshall's, Michael's, or a movie theater. As for the Falls, there's a Lowe's here too...
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Old 11-29-2014, 05:27 AM
 
Location: Jonesborough, TN
691 posts, read 1,275,483 times
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The Kroger on sunset is very busy, and I don't see them in any trouble at all. Why should they renovate or go out of business when they are getting tons of business as is? That is similar to what I hear about the movie theatre. Yes, it is dated. But it is always full. Why should a business spend money when market forces do not require them to? I do not think the new food city will heavily impact krogers sales at all.

I also think the kmart building is a terrible location. As for Kmart itself, there is never anyone in that place and they have to be losing money every year.
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Old 11-29-2014, 05:35 AM
 
Location: Kingsport
184 posts, read 214,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
But these two shops pretty well serve the same market. Most of the area residents also don't have a lot of disposable income, so I can't see them just going out on a spending binge
I don't want to seem argumentative, but I think considerations often overlooked are wealth factors in the Tri-Cities. While it true that the region as a whole has a weak income position. But when you drill down a little the picture changes from a marketing and retail perspective.

#1 The region has a very high percentage of households with no mortgage - about 10 points higher than the national average. From a retail perspective that means half the households have more disposable income than normal. The number is higher in Kingsport and Bristol while Johnson City has the lowest for the region.
#2 The recovery from the recession has created a shifting of incomes here just as it has in most areas. Some are struggling and some are doing very well. I'm looking at the 2011-2013 American Community Survey numbers for Family Incomes. I'm using Family Incomes because that's the broadest measure of consumerism. (I'm using the DP03 tables)
The US median family income in this latest study is $63,784. In Tennessee its $54,458. Bristol $48,065, Johnson City $54,663, Kingsport $53,771.
The US mean family income is $84,975, Tennessee $72,084, Bristol $61,069, Johnson City $81,959, Kingsport $74,191.
I know the median is the best measure to show the separation point, but the really interesting number is the mean family income (especially in Johnson City and Kingsport). The difference between the mean and median says there's a lot of households that make much more than then median. Factor in a lower overall cost of living here and the picture for family consumption looks pretty good.
That doesn't mean thinks are rosy for everyone. I know it's not. But I also think to say not many people have considerable disposable income overlooks an important part of this complex - and often confusing - matrix.
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