Cold Spring Market Area Profile 2020

Background and Study Details:

In the spring of 2020, the University of Minnesota Extension conducted a Retail and Service Market Analysis of the Cold Spring area. The EDA sponsored this study. The Market area Profile program is used to help communities develop local retail and service sectors. The purpose of this study was to identify opportunities for retail and service development and provide relevant market information for business development strategies in the Cold Spring area. This study used primary and secondary data from ESRI and the US Census. Cold Spring, Richmond, Rockville, Pyanesville, Eden Valley, Kimball, and Watkins were the communities included in the trade area for this study. Many factors including Cold Spring’s close proximity to St. Cloud and Wilmar as large areas of potential consumers and other shopping destinations should be considered. The City of Cold Spring, as a small town, has the strength of building strong relationships with customers and should continue to find ways to provide shopping experiences that focus on the functional, social, emotional, epistemic, aesthetic, sensory, and hedonic needs of consumers.

Study Results:

  • Using a calculated retail pull factor as a way of comparing Cold Spring sales per capita and the state of Minnesota sales per capita, the study shows that Cold Spring is selling to approximately 91% of the city population or is losing 9% of expected sales to other areas. 

  • A retail gap analysis also determined opportunities for business development by identifying business categories where resident spending power (demand) is greater than the number of trade area businesses (supply). Categories where demand is greater than supply can be seen in the blue bars in the graph to the right. These are possible opportunities for business development in Cold Spring.




The research from this business gap analysis showed that some gaps in retail businesses exist and led to the following recommendations.

  1. Explore opportunities to expand offerings in clothing, automotive parts, and restaurant categories (existing business expands, local entrepreneur starts a business, or attract investors from outside of town)

  2. Pursue opportunities to support investments in physical downtown assets

  3. Support educational events for local business owners to help enhance the experiential value of local businesses

  4. Address barriers for those interested in shopping locally 


The EDA is excited to use these recommendations as they promote business expansion and retention in Cold Spring. You can read the full study report and see opportunities for specific businesses gaps here.