The NDDC’s most recent business visit was with Econofoods, specifically Area Store Director Carl Nass. Carl’s territory includes Red Wing, Farmington, and Cannon Falls, so he really brings a regional perspective to our community.
Carl says we’re fortunate to have such a vibrant downtown. With a relatively wide offering of products and services, there are good traffic levels to the store; people combine errands and destinations, such as the hardware store, car repair, the pharmacy, dry cleaning and the grocery store.
He says the Northfield store has a particularly loyal customer base. He believes that downtown Northfield has a reputation for good service that builds our brand regionally.
On the challenges, Carl sees a balancing act between attracting tourists and servicing residents. He notes that DJJD is scheduled at the same time that the college students are setting up for the new academic year; on that weekend, Econofoods, and the rest of downtown, is difficult to access. On a related topic, he says we need additional public parking in downtown.
As for how the NDDC could better serve his business, Carl encouraged us to advocate on key issues. He mentioned commercial property taxes and signage as important to his business. The Northfield store is looking at expansion and these issues impact their decision-making.
Carl believes that Northfield has an exceptional quality of life. He believes that we should build on it, particularly in the areas of multi-modal transportation and diverse cultural offerings. Carl also praised Northfield citizens’ community involvement; he really enjoys doing Econofoods’ “bagging for bucks” program with the various youth groups.