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Georgetown’s Retail Trade Area: License Plate Survey

On October 5, the City of Georgetown Economic Development Department welcomed those interested in the Georgetown economy to their quarterly Breakfast Bites series. The casual meeting took place at Duke’s Smokehouse in Georgetown, and focused on the results of a recent license plate survey performed by The Retail Coach.

What is a license plate survey?

Aaron Farmer, Vice President of The Retail Coach, was on hand to explain the methodology and findings of the survey. “A license plate survey transforms how retail trade areas (RTAs) are determined,” Farmer said.

Rather than estimating the city’s retail trade area based on anecdotal evidence, the license plate survey gathered empirical data about who was in Georgetown and from where this past July and August. On a Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, employees and interns from The Retail Coach filmed approximately 1,200 actual license plates around the Georgetown Square, and in the parking lots of the Monument Café and Wolf Ranch Town Center. Then they input each license plate number into a database and pinpointed the town of residence of the vehicles’ owners.

While there were notable clusters of traffic from the Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, and Lubbock areas, the majority of traffic – 80% of the license plates – came from right around this area.

“Wolf Ranch is a huge regional draw,” Farmer said.

How will this information be used?

Mark Thomas, Director of Economic Development in Georgetown, and Keith Hutchinson, Communications Director, both said that marketing plans have already changed based on the results of the survey. The City must make smart choices about where to focus the marketing budget. Having a clearly defined primary retail trade area will help City Departments make informed decisions.

Local businesses, too, Thomas added, can use the survey results to determine where best to spend their marketing dollars, as well.

Georgetown Primary Retail Trade Area Demographics

The Retail Coach provided a very interesting breakdown of the demographics of our Primary Retail Trade Area. You can download the full PDF report here: Georgetown Texas Primary Retail Trade Area Demographics


Population: The population of our RTA has grown from 121,976 in the 2000 census to 241,730 (estimate) in 2012. Population growth is expected to continue, adding approximately 20% more people in the next five years.

Age: The 2012 estimated average age in Georgetown’s RTA is 35.1, a few years younger than the state average of 38 or 39. The median age in Georgetown’s RTA is 34.72.

Income: The 2012 estimated average household income in Georgetown’s RTA is $86,641, about double the state average. The median and per capita income estimates are also about double those of the state of Texas.

Housing Value: The 2012 estimated median all owner-occupied housing value in Georgetown’s RTA is $195,132. According to Census .gov, the median value of owner-occupied housing units in the state of Texas, 2006-2010, was $123,500, which puts our RTA 58% higher than the state.

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