A strong retail environment cannot exist on an 8-to-5 schedule alone. It cannot exist on weekends alone. It requires a well-rounded, steady balance of activity, day to night. The only way to achieve this? Attracting more residents to the area.

Downtown Lansing’s Retail Market Analysis and Retail Inventory reveal a lack of diverse retail types in the area — and comparing these reports to residential analyses, a shortage of residential properties is likely responsible for major gaps in the retail mix. As of 2021, salons and personal care services led Downtown Lansing’s retail inventory (11 establishments). The building materials, hardware, and garden sector trailed the list, with no retailers filling this void. Downtown inventory voids were also identified in sporting goods, home furnishings, dollar stores, used general merchandise, and music stores.

Our goal is to create a balanced, sustainable retail mix that complements what already exists in Downtown Lansing, expanding on what is already available. We recognize that, given current retailers in Downtown Lansing and surrounding areas like Old Town and REO Town, there are certain retail types that are already fulfilled and, therefore, are not needed downtown. But by analyzing the gaps and filling them, we can create a stronger, cohesive retail ecosystem between these regions. As neighboring communities, we will all succeed when we can capitalize on one another’s strengths. More traffic here leads to more traffic there, uplifting us all.

Top 10 in-demand retail establishments expected to thrive downtown right now:

  1. Pharmacy
  2. Family Apparel
  3. Special Event Apparel
  4. Home Goods
  5. Hardware Store
  6. General Merchandise / Variety (especially Michigan-made goods)
  7. Arts, Gifts, and Novelty
  8. Sporting Goods
  9. Cards and Novelty
  10. Art Supply Store