Bring It To Tulsa
Thanks to our fabulous members for supporting the Business Development Crew and helping spark a conversation about desired changes in Tulsa.Inaugural Campaign: Trader Joe's
Due to overwhelming support from a membership survey, Trader Joe's was chosen for the first Bring It To Tulsa business. An online shop was created where Tulsans purchased nearly $7,000 of TJ's merchandise.
Jackie Cooper Imports donated a vehicle for our volunteers to drive to Kansas and pick up all of the goodies; the items were set up at GitWit Creative in the Brady for a temporary pop-up shop where customers picked up their orders and sampled a variety of Joe's signature items.
The event highlighted the need for a downtown grocery store as well as a need for modernized liquor laws in Oklahoma. The event successful sparked a conversation; the event was covered in-depth through all Tulsa media and attracted more than a million visitors to the TYPros website, online shop and Facebook sites.
Bring It To Tulsa: Trader Joe's defined the following needs:
Need for a full-service downtown grocery store
The inaugural Bring It To Tulsa highlighted a need for a downtown grocery store. One of the reasons it has been difficult to find a business interested in locating downtown is that grocers like to open shop in areas that have a high density of homes (whether houses, lofts or apartments, the emphasis is home and not business). Downtown is mainly businesses and restaurants so grocers are not inclined to locate in this area but the need for a grocery store is significant due to a lack of grocers in a wide area surrounding downtown, especially to the north.
During the pick-up pop-up shop, we requested shopper's zip codes so that we could track just how far people would drive for the right grocery store. Below is a map of our results. There are also outlying responders but the general cluster reaches as far east as Claremore, as far north as Collinsville, as far west as Sand Springs and as far south as Bixby.
Need for updated liquor laws
The second impact TYPros' members intended to make was sparking a conversation about updated liquor laws. Trader Joe's is a solid example of a national retailer, a national retailer with an $8.5 billion annual revenue stream, which has a sales plan that's highly saturated in wine, beer and liquor sales (Two Buck Chuck, anyone?). Companies with similar plans cannot afford to adjust a solid business plan just to break into Oklahoma market. Additionally, our local grocery stores will be positive impacted by updating liquor laws as they will have an additional revenue stream incorporated into their business model.
During the event attendees learned from the Government Relations Crew leaders about the importance of modernizing liquor laws to stop inhibiting economic development. Shoppers had an opportunity to learn the basics of lobbying government for change and could even sign a letter to their legislators asking for consideration to modernize liquor laws. More than 100 attendees signed letters. If you're interested in supporting this opportunity to update Oklahoma's outdated liquor laws, download the attached sample letter, add your information and pop in the mail. Legislators prefer personal mail! No worries if you aren't sure which district you live in, or who your representative is - we have links to help you figure that out below.
Click here for downloadable letter.
Finding your legislators is a two-part task: first click here and input your address to determine your house and senate district numbers, second click here to find the senators and representatives for each district.
All about the initiativeWhat? Bring It To Tulsa is a grassroots business-attraction initiative. The Business Development Crew aims to educate TYPros' members about barriers-to-entry in opening certain stores to Oklahoma and finding creative ways to break through those barriers and show national retailers what Tulsa has to offer. Each campaign will focus on a different business; if you have a suggestion for an upcoming Bring It To Tulsa campaign - email the BDC Leader to pitch your idea!
How? Using completely zany, audacious ideas like setting up an online store and pop-up pick-up point we can highlights wants and needs in our community. For instance - our first Bring It To Tulsa highlighted both a desire for Trader Joe's to come to T-Town as well as the need for a full-service grocery store downtown, and need to update Oklahoma's liquor laws to promote economic development.
When? Unfortunately these events will not be on a set schedule. We will organize and highlight 918-needs as possible. If you are interested in getting a certain business rolling down route-66 to T-Town, sign up for the BDC newsletter to get meeting notifications!
Who? Anyone can order from our online shop, in fact, the more the merrier! Our concept is highlighting needs so feel free to invite your friends, neighbors, family and strangers to purchase whatever your heart desires - just be sure to only order if you have time to pick-up your products on the designated pick-up date. We will be setting up a temporary shop with very limited hours and will not have access to store your hummus and dark chocolate covered espresso beans overnight!