DMC's job: 'Get them more customers'

Shopping downtown (copy)
Mary Roberts, left, of Rochester, shops for baby clothes with her niece, Adena Stedman, of Longmont, Colo., at Baby Baby in the subway on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, in downtown Rochester.

To succeed, Destination Medical Center will need more locally owned shops and businesses downtown, and the best way to help those businesses is to have vibrant attractions, said Patrick Seeb, the DMC EDA’s director of economic development and placemaking.

The future of retailing is being dominated by giants such as Amazon but also the "high-touch, high-value" stores such as those now around Mayo Clinic in downtown Rochester, Seeb said.

When EDA officials talk with retailers, "we learned how many retailers behave like they are extensions of Mayo," he said. They feel they are part of the personal services Mayo tries to give. "The products they have are very customized to the people who come to Rochester," he said. They give "very unique personalized service … Those are very critical to the ongoing success and vibrancy of out downtown."

DMC, and Mayo, can help them, he said. "The most important thing we can do is help them get more customers."

One of the thrusts of DMC is to have more people living downtown. They’ll be attracted to the amenities, go out to dine more often, go to shows and other events, he said. Downtown residents spend seven times more in the downtown than downtown workers, he said.

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