Arlington Heights wants to get a better handle on where and why consumers spend money in the village, through a shopping survey being conducted by Public Research Group.
The survey is now under way, with questionnaires going out by mail, phone, email and on a website, said Charles Witherington-Perkins, director of planning and community development. The village is targeting some residents for the survey, but anyone can take it online.
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"It's always good to have data to support where the marketing efforts are going," Perkins said.
The survey focuses on Arlington Heights residents and people from an "inner" and "outer" ring of suburbs who shop here, he said.
In September the village board approved a $16,500 contract with Public Research Group to question suburban residents on their consumer wants and needs.
The survey was recommended by the Arlington Economic Alliance, after it spent most of 2012 studying the effectiveness of the Discover Arlington campaign.
While it has been nearly 10 years since the village did such a comprehensive consumer survey, Perkins said the village routinely does smaller polls at events and downtown businesses to find out where customers are coming from.
"This survey asks more in-depth questions so we can find out where and why people are shopping in Arlington Heights versus Woodfield Mall or Deer Park," Perkins said.
He said the survey results will be presented sometime in April.
The survey asks how often people shop in downtown Arlington Heights and how often they shop at other locations around the suburbs, like Woodfield, Northbrook Court or Randhurst.
It also asks how important certain considerations are when deciding where to shop -- such as prices, mix of stores, easy parking, atmosphere, location, kid-friendly or restaurants nearby.
Other questions ask which grocery stores they most shop at, and what draws them to, or not to, Arlington Heights.
People are also asked what new stores, restaurants or services they would like to see added in Arlington Heights.
The survey quizzes people on the marketing strategy behind Discover Arlington and if consumers still like the "Always more to discover" slogan, which the village decided to stick with in September.
"'Discover Arlington' is a work in progress," Kris Stabler, a member of the alliance, told the board in September. "Everyone asks, 'What does it mean to you?' I think that's a good thing because it can mean a lot of things to a lot of people."
People can take the survey at arlingtonheightsshopping.questionpro.com/.