July 23, 2018

Utah’s Small Independent Retailers Making Their Mark In National Rankings (Utah Public Radio) »

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Utah is getting the attention of large businesses and tech companies as a good place to build a foundation. Data from a recent study found the business environment is also attracting small independent retailers.

Utah ranks number three nationally for consumer spending at small, independent retailers, according to a recent study by the data analytics company Womply. Brad Plothow, the vice president of marketing and communications at Womply, said small businesses are making their mark in national rankings.

“One of the things that often gets missed is how robust our small business ecosystem is here,” Plothow said. “One of the things that we’re finding constantly as we dive into the data around transactions between consumers and small businesses is how high Utah ranks nationally.”

55,000 small retailers in all 50 states were analyzed over the course of a year. Plothow said trends, sales and seasonality patterns all play a role in the rankings. Small independent retailers in Utah make about $800-$900 more per day than the national average. These small businesses had 20 transactions per day compared to a national average of 13.

“We were trying to find the patterns where people spend the most money,” Plothow said. “We were also looking at when they spend that money. When we looked at restaurants, for example, we saw very little seasonality, it was pretty predictable. The average weekend is better than most good days, not the case with retailers.”

Plothow said businesses usually see their highest sales during the holiday season in November and December.

“In Utah, we saw the seasonality almost completely inverted,” Plothow said. “You see big spikes on how much people are spending on a per transaction basis at the beginning of the year which leads to February being the top month of the year for retailers in Utah. Three top weeks of the year come in February for Utah.”

President’s Day is the top sales day of the year for Utah’s small independent businesses, according to Plothow. The data is interesting because the rest of the nation doesn’t follow the same pattern. Plothow said the high sales could be caused by out-of-state skiers spending money at small independent retailers.

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