Business

Goodyear survey asks residents what retailers, restaurants they want

Survey shows demand for organic groceries, greater dining options

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You might love your city, but have you ever wished it had an organic grocery, a sporting goods store or an amusement park? The city of Goodyear wants to know.

The southwest Valley city of about 95,000 people is conducting its biennial retail survey, which gathers feedback from residents on the types of restaurants, retail and entertainment options they want to see in the city. 

The economic development department collects the survey results  not only to gague residents' preferences, but for use in business recruitment efforts and marketing campiagns. 

Trader Joe’s, for instance, has been the target of a persistent marketing campaign from the city of Goodyear for the past few years. 

The Southern California grocery chain was high on resident’s wish lists for several years, and in 2019 Goodyear launched the “We Want Trader Joe’s” campaign. Residents signed petitions that were sent to the company, and Mayor Georgia Lord declared Dec. 13 ‘We Want Trader Joe’s Day.’ 

Last Christmas, the city’s Digital Communications Department released an 18-second animated video reiterating it’s undying desire for a Trader Joe’s. While Goodyear welcomed 30 new businesses to the city in 2020, the grocery chain was not one of them and it doesn’t appear to have solid plans to build in Goodyear at the moment.  

The last survey conducted in 2019 included 2,627 responses. Trader Joe’s was still top of resident’s wish lists, as was Macy’s, Topgolf and Cheesecake Factory.

But some wishes do come true. 

In 2019, the German grocery chain Aldi was among resident’s top requests. When the Goodyear Economic Develoment Department reached out to the company with results of the survey, they learned the discount grocer already was looking at a location in the southwest Valley. 

By November 2020, Goodyear residents had their first Aldi location.

Another top 2019 pick was Salad and Go, a drive-thru chain that offers salads for between $5 and $6 as well as smoothies and breakfast burritos.  

The Gilbert-based chain is expected to open its doors in late 2021 or in early 2022 at Estrella Parkway and Van Buren Street. 

Lori Gary, director of Goodyear’s economic development department, said she was “pleasantly surprised” at the “outpouring of support” she saw from residents when it was announced a Salad and Go was coming to Goodyear. 

Gary noticed Goodyear residents are eager for more dining options. The 2019 survey results show residents want more trendy non-chains, fine dining, bars, family-friendly restaurants and fast-casual dining options. 

Dinner out on the town is popular in the city, with 97% of those surveyed responding they eat out for dinner at least once a week, and area restaurants often have long evening wait times. 

That’s why the city is trying to attract more restaurants to keep up with the growing demand.

“Goodyear is hungry for more restaurants,” Gary said.

The city also wants to cater to the daytime crowd.

“When we talk to restaurants and retailers, they want to know not only how many people live here, but how many people work here,” she said. 

With the addition of new offices in the city, those looking to grab a bite to eat for breakfast and lunch are expected to grow, as businesses come to meet the demand. 

“We have a mayor and city council who are very pro-business,” Gary said. “We're very fortunate that all the departments work together in order to facilitate the needs of new businesses as well as the needs of residents.”

The 2020 Census results found Goodyear is among the top 10 fastest growing cities in the U.S. With it’s explosion of growth, it’s safe to say residents can expect even more businesses to begin taking notice of the southwest Valley city. 

Even businesses on resident’s wish lists that sound far-fetched (Ikea was among the most requested retailers in 2017) might not be so ambitious in the future. 

“Goodyear is a fast-growing community,” Gary said. “Just because the market might not be right today, it will certainly be right down the road.”

Maybe a Trader Joe’s is in the cards soon after all. 

Residents have until Oct. 22, 2021 to fill out the survey, which can be found here. For more information contact gyecdev@goodyearaz.gov or call 623-932-3025. 

This article was updated Sept. 22 at 10:35 a.m. to reflect that the population of Goodyear is about 95,000. 

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