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May 09

Innovating Business: Retail Opportunities in Sterling Heights

Posted on May 9, 2017 at 2:29 PM by Andrea Mantakounis

Retail Blog

In the ever-evolving world of retail, consumers are consistently altering what they expect in a shopping experience.  Whether it is convenience, customer service, or overall atmosphere, consumers are making it clear which elements are most important to them.  And while the industry has seen a boom in ecommerce sales, 85 percent of consumers still prefer to shop brick & mortar, according to a 2016 study by TimeTrade, Conclusive data such as this provides evidence that there is a significant demand for physical stores, and Sterling Heights has many opportunities for retail locations to meet that demand. The City has developed and made a wealth of demographic, market potential, and current reports for available space and pricing information for site selection purposes, including Lakeside Mall, which continues to thrive and bring traffic to the area.

Consumer Reports

By evaluating the population snapshot provided in the consumer reports, retailers can determine if they are well-suited for the citizens of Sterling Heights. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Sterling Heights was 129,699 with an average household size of 2.61.  With a median age of 40.4 and median household income of $58,870, the population has been divided into the top five tapestry segments, identified by ESRI with detailed income, demographic, and spending habits:  the golden years, salt of the earth, green acres, rustbelt traditions, and comfortable empty nesters

 Market Potential

The Retail Market Potential report, prepared by E Smith Realty Site Selections, is a detailed assessment of the citizens of Sterling Heights and their buying purchasing and lifestyle behaviors.  The report documents the market potential for retail outlets and the percentage of 106,183 adult citizens of Sterling Heights and their use of retail categories such as apparel, electronics, and entertainment, as well as the psychographics of the population.

Traffic Counts and Drive Times

By evaluating the traffic count map prepared by E Smith Realty Site Selections, potential retailers can determine the best location for their stores.  Additionally, by assessing the trade area, retailers can get an overview of where retail and restaurants are located, as well as gross leasable area.  The snapshot also provides the boundary of Sterling Heights and the drive times to surrounding communities. 

Retail Available Snapshot

Availability of retail space is key component to site to selection and the city of Sterling Heights has provided an availability snapshot.  Vital information on the sale price of retail space ($192 per sq. ft.), as well as the availability and vacancy rate (8%) from the prior year.

Lakeside Mall

Another area of retail potential in Sterling Heights lies with the Lakeside Mall.  With 126 stores, including Macy’s, Sears, and Toys “R” Us, the Lakeside Mall continues to thrive and bring in traffic from Sterling Heights and surrounding cities.

Connect with Sterling Heights Retail Opportunities

As the retail industry continues to prosper, Sterling Heights offers a diverse population, with incomes that allow them to accommodate their lifestyles, and a retail landscape with available space and markets to be filled.  If you would like more information regarding current retail opportunities in Sterling Heights contact Luke Bonner, Senior Economic Development Advisor, at

Sterling Heights is proud to be innovating business in Macomb County.


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