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BOSTON - H.E. Butt Grocery Co., Family Dollar, and CVS Corp. are among the first retailers to join a new nationwide advisory group of retailers expected to ferret out the best practices in retailing inside inner city neighborhoods.
The retailers will be part of the Inner City Retail Advisory Group, formed by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a not-for-profit organization based here. The new group is convening today in Atlanta, during the ICIC's two-day annual Inner City Economic Forum (ICEF).
Topics for discussion will cover the challenges for expansion of retail in inner cities, and opportunities to fill the $42 billion retail gap. The advisory group will discuss specific strategies for security, community interaction, and workforce training, which are unique to inner city retail operations.
"Eight years ago, ICIC and the Boston Consulting Group presented national market data that showed the potential enormity of the inner city retail market," said Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, founder and chairman of ICIC, in a statement. "Today, more and more retailers of all sizes have entered that market and realize the value of continued expansion. We created this Retail Advisory Group to share their lessons--both successes and failures--and learn how they have developed a model that works."
Porter continued, "For growth-oriented retailers seeking new opportunities in the marketplace, America's inner cities still remain the next retailing frontier for revenues and profits."
More retailers, including supermarkets, are expected to join the advisory group in the near future, ICIC spokeswoman told Progressive Grocer yesterday. Confirmed participants include Chili's, CVS, Family Dollar, HEB, Harlem USA, Starbucks, Staples, Grid Properties, and MacFarlane Partners.