September 21, 2019
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Bangor considers using big data to attract businesses to struggling mall area

Gabor Degre | BDN
Gabor Degre | BDN
The Bangor Mall

The Bangor City Council will float a plan Monday night to invest in cutting-edge data analytics to solve the commercial decline in the Bangor Mall and Hogan Road areas.

The proposal would authorize the city manager to sign an agreement with Buxton, a data analytics consultancy based in Fort Worth, Texas, to find a way to attract and retain businesses in that area. Bangor would spend up to $150,000 over three years on the arrangement.

The vote is the last item on Monday’s 72-page agenda for the council’s meeting, to be held on the third floor of City Hall starting at 7:30 p.m.

The council’s Business and Economic Development Committee is recommending that the full council approve the agreement with Buxton for $50,000 per year for up to three years. The contract can be canceled with 60 days notice before the anniversary date of its signing.

In its agenda, the city said Buxton will use data analytics to create a retail strategy for recruitment and retention that is customized to Bangor.

The plan calls for Buxton to conduct market research on potential retailers and create detailed profiles of them, so the city can assemble specific marketing packages aimed at attracting retailers to Bangor.

The proposal also calls for the city to get four licenses to use SCOUT, a data analytics tool to run demographic and trade area profile reports. The city also will get up to 50 free subscriptions to Local Store Marketing, an app that local retailers and businesses can use to improve their marketing. City Manager Catherine Conlow said the city has yet to decide how to parcel those out to local businesses.

Funding for the agreement is to come from public tax increment financing in the mall area.

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