It is important for Columbia to have a strong retail sector to help boost the local economy, create jobs, improve the quality of life for residents, and attract new residents. A vibrant retail scene can also make a city more attractive to tourists and businesses. Retail recruitment is an important part of Columbia's economic development strategy. By attracting and retaining qualified retail employers, Columbia can help to create a vibrant and prosperous economy.
Within the Primary Retail Trade Area, there is a population of over 152,993 and approximately 58,000 households. Retail is booming in Columbia and the Primary Retail Trade Area population grew by more than 31% since the 2010 census. From retail developments like the Columbia Mall and The Shoppes at Neely's Mill to neighborhood shopping centers like Shops at Creekside Place, there are a variety of places for retailers to call home.