Assessing Sioux City’s business health, new development slows as retailers arrive

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – You’ve probably noticed new retail outlets in town: Crumbl Cookie, Boot Barn and Aldi, to name a few. We wanted to measure the overall business health of Sioux City, but accurate metrics are hard to come by.

KTIV spoke to representatives from the private sector, real estate sector and local government to get a sense of how Sioux City’s business is developing.

Think of it this way: every major retailer you can think of has been on hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. But now that we’re on the reverse side of the pandemic, all these businesses are rushing in and claiming any available retail space that’s not yet occupied.

For now, that’s good news for business in Sioux City. New stores like Crumbl Cookies, HOTWORX and Fazoli’s offer consumers more options than before the pandemic, says Chris Bogenrief.

“However, I would say that the overall health of our local economy is quite strong and has remained fairly resilient throughout the pandemic,” said Chris Bogenrief, president of NAI United, a commercial real estate company.

The resurgence of retail outlets could soon hit the wall, due in large part to a lack of space.

“It’s just a backlog from the last two years that hasn’t been met and they’ve filled the vacancies. But what you haven’t seen is a lot of retail development because construction costs went through the roof due to supply chain issues,” Bogenrief said.

City officials say they don’t keep a list of active businesses, making it difficult to calculate how many businesses Sioux City has gained or lost. Officials say the city isn’t recruiting new businesses, but is trying to incentivize new developments.

“Yeah I think with the growth that’s happening here you’re going to see some new, some new shopping areas, they might look a little bit different, you know, they probably won’t be big malls. But you’re going to see some new developments over the next few years,” said Marty Dougherty, Sioux City’s director of economic development.

Crumbl Cookies is one of these new retailers. With 600 stores, they chose Sioux City for a new location that opened this September.

“Almost daily customers would come in and say come to Sioux City, come to Sioux City. So we came down and looked at the market. We liked the research we saw and we found a great location here next to Stone Bru and decided we couldn’t share it,” said Colby Wilson, Territory Manager of Crumbl Cookies.

Bogengrief says assessing the health of small businesses can be even more difficult. However, a study conducted by his company found that more businesses were actually opening their doors here in Sioux City during the pandemic than had to close.

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