Sheetz arrives in Thomasville in September

Aug. 31, 2014 @ 11:57 AM

Mayor Joe Bennett announced the arrival of a new Sheetz store on at the recent State of the City and County address at Colonial Country Club.

Bennett said the store will be located at the intersection of Liberty Drive and Randolph Street. The city had to make upgrades to the water lines before construction of the new Sheetz, which he said will open in September, commences.

“This will be their 150th Sheetz location,” Bennett said. “Management all the way up to, I guess it has to be a Mr. Sheetz, is going to come here for the grand opening because of the celebration it's going to be. Needless to say, I'll be there with my shears and ribbons. We'll be cutting ribbons that day and celebrating.”

In 2015, Bennett said another Sheetz location will open at the corner of National Highway and Hasty School Road. He is excited about the recruitment of the Altoona, Pa.-based chain, as well as the city's ability to lure other corporate chains. The mayor did express frustration, however, with the difficulty Thomasville has faced in trying to bring Chick-fil-a to the Chair City.

“I get that question about every two weeks,” Bennett said of residents inquiring when they can expect to see a Chick-fil-a. “My file, and I think their file in Atlanta, Ga., is about that thick. I've been corresponding, as well as the folks at the Chamber of Commerce. I don't know what you have to do to get a Chick-fil-a, but we're trying.”

Doug Croft, president of the Thomasville Area Chamber of Commerce, also riffed off the ongoing efforts to court Chick-fil-a before discussing changes that are being made in Thomasville's recruitment strategies.

“In general, we've been a very responsive organization when it comes to retail growth and development,” Croft said. “We've not had the resources – both financial and human – to be more assertive and really work as hard as we want to, but that is changing. And I'm really excited about that.”

The chamber signed a contract to have a person on its staff to develop an inventory of every single available commercial retail office space in this community.

“We are going to have more detail, costs and the right people to [contact] and sort of speed up our response, and also speed up their decision-making time,” Croft said. “That inventory will be complete by the end of this calendar year.”

Croft said the chamber is also going to receive shopping analyses which will focus on shopping patterns, as well as “leakage numbers” that indicate how much is spent outside the community by the community. He said the numbers will be so specific it will even highlight brand preferences.

“This morning, we signed another contract with another company,” Croft said. “We are going to have in our hands, in 60 to 70 days, probably the most comprehensive retail analysis available in the country. They're going to tell us what you and I collectively buy. That data is very powerful.

“They're going to match us with prospects whose profile matches what our customers need, as well.”

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3578, or at kennedy@tvilletimes.com.