Mid-sized markets projected to have big-city retail growth


NielsenIt’s widely understood that larger, traditionally denser DMAs notch up the largest retail expenditure dollars. Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Boston have all topped the $80 million dollar mark for retail through Q2 2012.

What may be a pleasant surprise, however, is that according to a recent Nielsen study, the regions with the most robust projected five-year growth in terms of retail spending are all mid-sized DMAs.

Denver, San Antonio, Raleigh and Austin, among others, are all expected to see double-digit growth over the next half-decade, with Austin topping the list at a projected 19 percent increase. Total U.S. growth over that same time period is projected to be nine percent.

Heading into the holiday season, these mid-sized DMAs could see a few gifts of their own in the form of retail spending and local ad dollars.

From May 2011 to May 2012, the percent of ad spend in the retail category, which includes electronics and other big holiday categories, such as apparel and jewelry, was steeped in spot TV and local newspaper dollars. In fact, 75 percent of retail ad spending went to local TV stations or newspapers, funneling more ad dollars into mid-sized DMAs.

The local ad spend spree could be the driving force behind the retail success in these mid-sized DMAs, especially when it comes to the electronics category, which has historically been a stalwart in retail and local media opportunities during the holiday season.

For example, Albuquerque, NM is projected to have 13 percent retail growth over the next five years and notches the highest per household spend on digital cameras ($543), 64 percent higher than the national average ($331). It may rarely reach temperatures cold enough for snow, but in Albuquerque the local opportunities are plentiful enough to dub it, and other mid-sized DMAs, a winter wonderland.