Walmart ribbon cutting

The recent ribbon cutting after renovations at Union's Walmart store is shown. The store added on to its shoe department, which Assistant City Administrator James Schmieder was likely a result of market research, similar to what the city is doing with Buxton.

The city of Union is moving forward with a retail study, even though a draft of its comprehensive plan suggested it might have work to do before it can craft a plan to lure stores and restaurants in large numbers.

The Board of Alderman, at its July 11 meeting, approved paying Buxton, a Texas-based consumer intelligence technology company, $25,000 for a yearlong contract. The company tracks consumer shopping patterns through cellphones to help its customers identify potential business opportunities. The company receives around 3 billion cellphone “pings” each year to track where people come from and what they are buying.