How to Distribute to Tucson
Tucson is a city in and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States, and is home to the University of Arizona. With a 2020 population of 553,871, it is the 2nd largest city in Arizona (after Phoenix ) and the 33rd largest city in the United States. Tucson is currently growing at a rate of 0.72% annually, and its population has increased by 6.49% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 520,116 in 2010. Spanning over 238 miles, Tucson has a population density of 2,327 people per square mile.
Tourism is a major industry in Tucson, bringing in $2 billion per year and over 3.5 million visitors annually due to Tucson’s numerous resorts, hotels, and attractions.
In addition to vacationers, a significant number of winter residents, or “snowbirds”, are attracted to Tucson’s mild winters and live here on a seasonal basis. They also contribute to the local economy.
Tucson is not one of the richest cities in the United States. It has a relatively high poverty rate, and the average family income is not that high. The average household income in Tucson is $55,689, with a poverty rate of 23.44%. However, it makes up for this with steady population growth.
A manufacturer can get products into Tucson by working with distributors or by going directly to the retailers. The manufacturer can even decide to take full control of the entire distribution channel.
To fully understand the distribution of products to Tucson, it may help to look at how distribution works in the areas within the city.
Distribution to Downtown and Central Tucson
As one of the oldest parts of town, Central Tucson is anchored by the Broadway Village shopping center, designed by local architect Josias Joesler and located at the intersection of Broadway Boulevard and Country Club Road. The 4th Avenue Shopping District between downtown, the university, and the Lost Barrio just East of downtown, also has many unique and popular stores. Local retail business in Central Tucson is densely concentrated along Fourth Avenue and the Main Gate Square on University Boulevard near the UA campus. The El Con Mall is also in the eastern part of midtown.
To penetrate this area, it may help to work with distributors. When a manufacturer outsources its distribution to them, they start to map out areas to get the products to. They take marketing materials along to pitch to retailers. With the relationships they have forged with retailers over the years of being in business, it is easier to get the products on the shelves.
Distributing to South Tucson
South Tucson is the name of an independent, incorporated town in Tucson. It is predominantly occupied by people of Mexican origin. South Tucson is widely known for its many Mexican restaurants and architectural styles.
South Tucson is home to the Tucson International Airport and Tucson Electric Park. To distribute to this area, it may help to work with retailers. This ordinarily seems daunting, but it can be achieved by networking within retail associations.
Retail associations have retailers as members. They are geographically-based and are well-organized. Some of these retail associations are based on products or industry. For instance, if you want to connect with grocers in this city, it is easy to connect with a grocers’ association with the city members.
More, working with retailers directly comes with its benefits for your brand. The insulation between the brand and the customer is reduced. With a well-oiled relationship with retailers, it is easy to get customer feedback and suggestions about the products.
Distributing to Northern Tucson
North Tucson includes the urban neighborhoods of Amphitheater and Flowing Wells. Usually considered north of Fort Lowell Road, North Tucson includes some of Tucson’s primary commercial zones (Tucson Mall and the Oracle Road Corridor). Many of the city’s most upscale boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries are also on the north side, including St. Philip’s Plaza.
A manufacturer can use any of the distribution methods discussed above to penetrate this area, but that’s not all. The manufacturer can decide to take full control of the entire distribution channel.
It costs a lot to take full control of the distribution method. Moreover, the manufacturer has to be in constant touch with the consumers. It is worth noting, however, that this method has its benefits. There is no insulation, whatsoever, between the manufacturer and the consumer. More, it strengthens the brand’s position with the consumer.
It is also worth noting that not all products can be distributed through this method. Some brands like Tesla have found success with it. But a milk manufacturer may find it hard to find success with it. The same will be the case for a manufacturer of stationeries.
Things to Note When Distributing to Tucson
With $2 billion a year in tourism, there is a large market to capture here. It will help to be well-positioned in this market to benefit from this yearly windfall.
A lot of manufacturers don’t do much for marketing. They somehow expect their products to be noticed. It hardly works that way.
It is important to send marketing messages to consumers on both the internet and mass media. Your uniqueness is communicated to them here. And if you focus on their needs and what they stand to benefit, you might as well have stood out in the market.
Apart from Phoenix, the Tucson market is the largest in Arizona. This is great for sales, but it also signals competition. You should work on your unique selling point to distinguish you in this market. Apple does this by focusing on cutting-edge technology and ease of use.