New retail locations are providing Upper Cumberland residents the opportunity to shop local this holiday season.
Steven Crook of the Highlands Economic Partnership says more development in the area means more money going back to the local communities.
“We’re really excited to see some new opportunities for people to spend their dollars locally as opposed to what has been leaking out to other communities in the past,” Crook says. “Each of these new opportunities we’ve seen of late are going to have a huge impact on the local sales dollars and sales tax collections for the municipalities, and overall, the health of the economy.”
Crook says early indications point to the newer developments having virtually no effect on the already-established retailers in the region.
“By and large, there’s a relatively flat comparison over years prior,” Crook says. “Although there are new stores to the market and new opportunities, we’re not seeing as big a negative impact on existing retailers that you might expect.”
Crook says the economic impact of newer developments like the Shoppes at Eagle Point impact more than those living in Cookeville.
“We just want to give our local residents as well as the entire retail market which extends well beyond Putnam County’s borders to the tune of about 265,000 retail customers,” Crook says, “We want to make sure that they have the opportunity to find whatever they need without having to go elsewhere.”
Crook says it’s currently unknown as to how much of an impact developments like Eagle Point will have until the shopping season is over.
“We’ll have to see come January when the reports from the state come back to tell us our net increase in sales tax,” Crook says. “But anybody who’s been out around Interstate Drive the last month or so, I think you can see first-hand the impact it’s had.”
Several stores at Eagle Point in Cookeville have opened over the last couple weeks, including Academy Sports and Outdoors, Torrid, Ulta Beauty, Shoe Carnival, and Carter’s. Restaurants such as Panda Express, Panera Bread, and Five Guys Burgers opened within the last week with Chipotle scheduled to open Monday.