“Where to go for all your Home Improvement Needs, 22nd Avenue N”
We are a group of retailers located on or near 22nd Avenue N in St. Petersburg that have an invested interest in the city and our community that we all live in. Home Improvement Row is an attempt to draw more customers businesses via a combined effort to draw attention to the street as a whole. There is strength in numbers and that is no more true than in a group such as Home Improvement Row.
Over the past 25 years, Saint Petersburg has done an excellent job transforming itself. Once a quiet retirement community content to be in Tampa’s shadow; St. Pete has now become an internationally known destination city famous for its beaches, its arts, and its superior living experience. Homes are being bought at an ever increasing pace as our city becomes a top choice for both active lifestyle retirees as well as families looking to put down roots in a vibrant and connected community.
The economic downturn, combined with emerging technology and the phenomenon of social networking, have all combined to turn traditional business models utterly on their head – probably forever. Most businesses that survived the downturn did so because they recognized these changes early on and made adjustments instead of waiting for things to return to “the good old days”. As an example, many businesses that occupy a particular district or cover certain retail categories have teamed together to form associations and networks to co- promote.
I am proposing that another of these district associations be formed by the home improvement businesses that are clustered together on or near 22nd Avenue, and it be called HOME IMPROVEMENT ROW. This name is not a new one for 22nd Avenue., it is a name that has been used in several news stories and has been picked up and passed on by St. Petersburg residents. There is a real opportunity to better define and promote the advantages and benefits of our street as opposed to the national chain centers for the home improvement consumer. Everyone nearby knows that this is the place to shop for your home, why not organize ourselves and present that fact to a much larger audience – The entire Tampa Bay area, not just St. Petersburg. By pooling our advertising dollars and promoting ourselves as a group we can drive additional traffic to our stores and increase our visibility to a larger audience.
I have obtained rights to www.homeimprovementrow.com and have a website designer on board to get the basics of a site set up and running. To start with the site will be a general informational page about the features, advantages, and benefits to shopping on the row that will prominently display links to each of our websites. Over time we will add to the website things like video, testimonials, exclusive website coupons etc.
Simply put, the objective is to increase customer traffic with a minimal advertising investment.
I see this working out in three separate six month efforts. The 1st to get the row promoted locally, the 2nd would expand further into Pinellas County, perhaps with a billboard campaign, and after the first year we explore ways to bring traffic from Hillsborough and Manatee counties.