Payson Shoppers Head Elsewhere

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Payson residents are more likely to purchase shoes, jewelry and automobiles outside of Payson.

The Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation recently released results of a retail and health care usage survey conducted by the Institute for Social Science Research at Arizona State University. The study was conducted for the PREDC and was completed in May.

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Five thousand surveys were mailed out to Payson residents in this past winter.

Results from the 2,080 surveys that were returned were compiled and reveal the trend for Payson shoppers, something known among the economic development community as "leakage."

Economic leakage is the phenomenon where local shoppers purchase products in areas outside of Payson, thus "leaking" money and sales taxes to other cities and towns.

Respondents in the study were full-time residents and 90 percent of them were 46 years old or older.

According to the study results, Payson residents are most likely to purchase groceries, gas, cosmetics/toiletries, general household goods and entertainment items within the town's borders.

High leakage items, or items that respondents said they purchased within town borders only 0 to 30 percent of the time, include shoes, automobiles, jewelry, electronics and home d├ęcor.

Items with "moderate leakage" included furniture, clothing, office supplies and pet supplies.

Respondents who said they frequently shop online also contributed to a high rate of leakage. Online shoppers had a higher tendency to be women and had household incomes in the $41,000 to $60,000 range.

In addition to shopping, the study also focused on the utilization of local health care entities.

According to results, 85 percent of respondents who saw a doctor in the last year stayed with a local physician.

Seventy-two percent of respondents who experienced a hospital stay in the past year stayed at the Payson Regional Medical Center.

When medical specialists were needed, however, 41 percent of respondents went somewhere other than Payson.

As far as which stores are missing from Payson, respondents were most eager to see a Target come to town, followed by Trader Joe's.

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