Virginia’s Gateway Region and Retail Strategies to Host Retail Academy

October 29, 2019 / Current News

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (October 28, 2019) – Virginia’s Gateway Region (VGR) and Retail Strategies are scheduled to host a Retail Academy for six VGR city and county members on October 30 and 31 in Colonial Heights, Virginia. Retail Academy serves to help communities learn how to attract retail through teaching how data provides options and real estate drives decisions. Participants of the VGR Retail Academy include the Cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg, and Surry County, Prince George County, and Dinwiddie County.

“Virginia’s Gateway Region is excited to offer Retail Academy to its members,” said Keith Boswell, President & CEO for VGR. “Retail Strategies is the national leader in retail education and recruitment, and we look forward to the education, tools, data and analytics our attendees will gain and put into action.”

Virginia’s Gateway Region is excited to offer Retail Academy to its members.”


“Retail Academy’s mission is to really empower and educate community leaders, so they are able to approach retail and real estate professionals in a smart way,” said Matt Petro, chief development officer for Retail Strategies.

“By the end of the two days, we will have equipped the participating communities with the tools and information they need to be confident in their outreach towards targeted retail and restaurant businesses,” said Sarah Beth Thornton, Business Developer for Retail Strategies.

During the two-day event, participants will attend a two-and-a-half-hour group session on current retail trends and education on the implementation and execution of a retail recruitment strategy. Individual city and county participants will also receive one-on-one consulting with the Retail Strategies team.

The city and county consulting sessions include a research portion consisting of demographic data and reports, a trade area analysis powered by mobile data, a retail gap analysis, and additional analytics. The real estate portion of Retail Academy includes a real estate analysis performed by a licensed real estate professional and aerial maps on the retail node of the specific city or county. Attendees will also receive marketing materials necessary to provide the commercial real estate stakeholders and potential retailers they are working with.

About Virginia’s Gateway Region

Virginia’s Gateway Region (VGR) is the regional economic development organization that markets the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg, and the counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Prince George, Surry and Sussex. VGR focuses its efforts on new and existing business investment and job creation. It is a private, nonprofit organization that receives public and private funds.

About Retail Academy

Retail Academy is a program developed from a leading national retail advisory firm, Retail Strategies. The program assists communities in strengthening their retail landscape. Communities will be trained and equipped with the tools and education necessary to attract new retailers to their markets, while providing support to their existing local businesses.