Obici results: Clothing store needed

Published 9:32 pm Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Based on the data from a survey about the Obici Place development, a quality clothing store would be well patronized on the site, according to a presentation at the Economic Development Authority meeting on Wednesday.

Nearly half of those surveyed said they make 25 percent or less of their clothing purchases in Suffolk, Deputy Economic Development Director Greg Byrd said.

“There’s a real opportunity, if we can target the right types of clothing stores,” he told the authority. Only 9 percent of respondents said they make between 75 and 100 percent of their clothing purchases in Suffolk.

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Shoe stores were also desired among the nearly 600 respondents, Byrd said. The survey did not differentiate between men’s and women’s shoe stores, he added.

About 73 percent of respondents were from the central Suffolk area, with an additional 20 percent from other areas of Suffolk. The remainder were from nearby localities, with some as far as North Carolina, Virginia Beach and Sussex County.

Regarding restaurants, most respondents said they prefer casual restaurants, followed by family-style and fine dining. About a third said that when they dine out, they do so in Suffolk more than 75 percent of the time, but an almost equal number said they usually travel outside of Suffolk for a restaurant meal.

Regarding grocery stores, gourmet and health food stores were most desired among those responding to the survey, according to the results.

Other kinds of wanted shops included sports goods, book stores, health and fitness businesses and a spa, according to the survey results.

The presentation in Wednesday’s meeting did not include any summary of the open-ended comments made by survey-takers.

No member of the Economic Development Authority, which owns the property, had any comment about the survey results.