1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830
(865) 483-1321
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Retail Seminar Planned


The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce is hosting "Connecting with Your Best Customer" a Consumer Connection retail seminar for existing retail businesses on Thursday, April 22 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce. All existing retailers and small businesses are encouraged to attend. Chamber membership is not a requirement to attend this free seminar.

Consumer Connection is a service provided by the Tennessee Valley Authority Economic Development Division. It is a program that helps community leaders understand retail recruitment and retention.

The Consumer Connection seminar is a two-hour, interactive session that uses competitive marketing information to assist existing community retailers and other small businesses gain a better understanding of their specific trade area and how to reach their potential customer base. Information covered includes: key demographics, retail opportunity gaps, retail demand growth and household lifestyle segmentation data. Specific information will also be provided about technology-based marketing solutions.

Topics to be covered include:

  • What is my trade area?
  • What are the opportunities in my trade area?
  • How does this information impact my product/service mix?
  • Can this trade area really support my business?
  • What are the largest lifestyle segments and how might I use that information?
  • How do I market to the households in my trade area?


The seminar is geared towards existing retail business owners and managers, potential new business owners, community leaders and economic developers.

According to Stephen Whitson, president of HS Whitson Construction and Chairman of the Chamber's Retail/Commercial area, "This seminar will help existing retailers and small businesses in and around Oak Ridge determine how they can find more opportunities and more consumers. It will give specific information that will allow participants to take what they've learned and apply it to their respective businesses."

Parker Hardy, President and CEO of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce said, "We are pleased to offer this opportunity to the retail and small business community. We hope all local retailers and small businesses will make an effort to attend this valuable meeting. The information TVA will provide through Consumer Connections will be very valuable in helping participants understand what they can do to take advantage of opportunity gaps and how to best market their products and services."

Seminar presenter Charles T. Marquis, who serves as Retail Target Market Specialist for TVA, joined the organization in 2003. Marquis is an economic developer with 19 years experience in economic development and commercial real estate.

For additional information on the seminar, contact Parker Hardy (hardy@orcc.org). To register, contact Christy Holt (holt@orcc.org). Both can be reached by calling the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce at 483-1321.

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce is a Four-Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce.

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