The Retail Market
Springfield Metro has one dominant enclosed regional mall, Holyoke Mall at Ingleside in Holyoke. Located immediately adjacent to an interchange from I-91, the mall’s location in the north central portion of the metro area and its’ access to I-91 allows Holyoke Mall to service all of Springfield Metro Except for the mall itself, there is only one major shopping center, Holyoke Crossing, that is immediately adjacent to the mall that provides for opportunities for mid-size boxes and no options for large size boxes. Given this limited box store availability, the regional corridor which is associated with the mall that serves to accommodate mid and big box retail is the Riverdale Road (Route 5) corridor which is located one exit south of Holyoke Mall on I-91. The other significant regional retail corridors in Springfield Metro are located along Route 9 in Hadley, in the northern part of the metro area and Pittsfield at the intersection of Route 9 and Route 8 in the western portion of the market servicing Berkshire County.
Also in Berkshire County, at exit 2 of the Mass Pike (I-90) in the town of Lee, is Lee Premium Outlets, which serves the heavy tourist and second home population that visit The Berkshires annually.
The towns of Wilbraham, due east of the city of Springfield and Westfield, due west of the city of Springfield, serve as strong community trade areas. The most affluent areas of Springfield Metro are located in the towns of Longmeadow and East Longmeadow, immediately south of the city of Springfield and adjacent to the state border with Connecticut. These towns have specialty retail and restaurant offerings that appeal to this higher income demographic.
Grocers operating in Springfield Metro include Stop & Shop, Big Y (which is headquartered in Springfield), Price Chopper, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, Walmart Supercenter, Sav-A-Lot, and Price Rite.
Metro Springfield has a long history of manufacturing as a significant portion of its economic base. This history dates back to George Washington’s creation of the Springfield Armory in 1777 to store ammunition for the Revolutionary War and the subsequent manufacturing of weapons beginning in 1795 and continuing for the nearly 200 years for every major U. S. conflict until the Armory’s closing in 1968. With the manufacturer of the first American muskets in 1795 for the American Revolutionary War; to the manufacturer of the Springfield Rifle for World War I; to the manufacturer of the M1 Rifle for World War II, the Springfield Armory attracted generations of skill laborers to Springfield, making it the United States longtime center for precision manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution and beyond.
Washington chose the Armory location because it was just north of the Connecticut River’s first waterfall (Enfield Falls), which is too steep to be navigated by ocean going vessels. Thus, Springfield was the first town on the Connecticut River protected from attack by seafaring naval vessels. The Armory site itself sat atop a high bluff, overlooking a wide stretch the Connecticut River at its confluence with the Westfield River, providing easy notice of any advancing enemy ships.
The tradition continues with the headquarters for firearms manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Savage Arms both currently located in the metro area. Today, the largest employment cluster in Springfeild Metro is Aerospace and Defense manufacturing. Known as a “high technology precision engineering hotspot”, many of Western Massachusetts precision manufacturing companies are contracted suppliers of precision medical components and subassemblies to aircraft engine builders and military equipment contractors across the United States and internationally.
This strong network of supply chain manufacturers has provided Springfield Metro with a highly skilled manufacturing labor force that has allowed conventional manufacturers to evolve into precision manufacturers using modern technologies and highly skilled labor. These manufactures focus on a variety of areas but in particular there is a large concentration in plastics and specialty metals.
Beginning with the production of raw material, the area’s plastic producers manufacture products predominantly for medical devices, packaging, as well as aerospace and defense. This range of production is covered predominantly through small to medium-sized businesses. With many local colleges and universities providing degrees in polymer/plastics engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial engineering there is no shortage of a well-equipped labor force with the skills necessary for the plastics industry. The University of Massachusetts in Amherst was recently ranked as having the # 1 Polymer Science and Engineering Department in the United States by U.S. News and World Report.
Mass Mutual, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1851, has its corporate headquarters in Springfield. It is the largest non-healthcare private employer in Springfield Metro with 6,300 employees. Babson Capital Management, a subsidiary of Mass Mutual, is a full-service investment advisor with a highly specialized entrepreneurial approach. Babson is also headquartered in Springfield and has more than $100 billion in assets under management. Other noteworthy employers in the region include Hasbro and Liberty Mutual, along with Yankee Candle Company and Friendly Ice Cream, whose corporate headquarters are in Springfield Metro.
The biggest economic development project underway in the region is the $950 million MGM Springfield which is currently under construction in Downtown Springfield. This 850,000 square foot residential, retail, dining, hotel, entertainment and gaming complex is being built on 14.5 acres comprising three city blocks in the heart of Springfield’s downtown core. Scheduled to open in late 2018, MGM Springfield will add 2,200 full time and 800 part time jobs to Springfield’s economy. The project is designed to blend in with the existing architecture and fabric of the downtown area and serve as a catalyst for further development. With its visibility and immediate access to I-91, MGM Springfield will create a regional destination that brings consumers to Springfield that would never visit Springfield were in not for MGM Springfield.
Area colleges and enrollment
|University of Massachusetts||Amherst||23,000|
|Westfield State University||Westfield||5,100|
|Western New England University||Springfield||3,100|
|Mount Holyoke College||South Hadley||2,200|
|American International College||Springfield||1,800|
|Bay Path College||Longmeadow||1,800|
|Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts||North Adams||1,800|
|College of Our Lady of Elms||Chicopee||1,000|
|Mass Mutual||HQ – Financial Services||Springfield|
|Westover Air Reserve Base||Military Base||Chicopee|
|General Dynamics – Mission Systems||Defense Systems||Pittsfield|
|American Outdoor Brands (Smith & Wesson)||Firearms||Springfield|
|Yankee Candle Company||HQ – Multi Channel Retailer and Manufacturer – Scented Candles||South Deerfield/Whatley|
|Carando Classic Italian Foods||Sausage, Meatballs, Deli Meats||Springfield|
|Lenox Tools||Saw Blades and Hand Tools||East Longmeadow|
|Westrock||Corrugated Paper Consumer Packaging||Springfield|
|Tsubaki||Power Transmission and Motion Control Products||Holyoke/Chicopee|
|Peter Pan Bus Lines||HQ – Commercial and Charter Motorcoach Service||Springfield|
|Eastman Chemical||Chemical Additives for Automotive and Architectural Glass||Springfield|
|Pelican Products||High Performance Plastic Protective Cases||South Deerfield|
|Canyon Ranch Lenox||Resort and Spa||Lenox|
|HP Hood||Dairy Products||Agawam|
|Cartamundi Group||Board Games||East Longmeadow|
|Callaway Golf||Golf Balls||Chicopee|
|GL&V||Equipment for Pulp and Paper Production||Lenox|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific||Biomed – Laboratory Equipment||Amherst|
|Savage Arms||HQ – Firearms||Westfield|
|C&S Wholesale Grocery||Grocery Distribution||Westfield|
|Carrier||Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration||Chicopee|
|Crane||Fine Stationary||Pittsfield/North Adams/Dalton|
|Prolamina||Packaging for Consumer Food, Medical and Specialty||Westfield|
|L-3 Keo||Military Imaging Systems||Northampton|
|Proxim Wireless||Wireless Technology Products||Northampton|
|Berry Plastics||Plastic Tubing for Consumer Products||East Hampton|
|Kanzaki Specialty Papers||Thermal Imaging Paper||Ware/Springfield|
|Berkshire Life Insurance Co.||Disability Insurance||Pittsfield|
|Judd Wire||Electronic Wire and Cable||Turner Falls|
|Advance Manufacturing||Precision Machining – Aerospace, Defense and Technology||Westfield|
|Dean Foods||Food Producer – Ice cream||Wilbraham|
|Specialty Minerals||Specialty Minerals for the Paper Industry||Adams|
|Dielectrics||Biomed – Thermoplastics Contract Manufacturer||Chicopee|
|Hazen Paper||Paper Products for Consumer Packaging||Holyoke/Great Barrington|
|Sullivan Paper||Gift Wrapping Paper and Accessories||West Springfield|
|Arnold’s Meats||Fresh and Frozen Grocery Products – Retail and Wholesale||Chicopee/East Londmeadow|
|Friendly’s Ice Cream||HQ- Restaurants||Wilbraham|
|Mid State Berkshire||Precision Machining – Aerospace, Defense, Power, Oil & Gas||Westfield|
|Titeflex||Fluid Management Products- Aerospace, Transportation, Industrial||Springfield|
|Channing Bete||Publisher – Pamphlets and Booklets||South Deerfield|
|Merriam-Webster||Publisher – Language Related Reference Works||Springfield|
|Charter Nex Films||Plastic Films for Packaging||Turner Falls|
|Rodney Hunt||Flow Control Valves and Gates||Orange|
|Serta Simmons Bedding||Agawam|
The Berkshires is the name given to the mountain and lake region located in Berkshire County, Massachusetts most western county. The region runs north to south from the Vermont border to Connecticut border. Known for its quaint villages and towns, the area is a popular vacation destination and is also known as a large second home market for residents from New York City and Boston. This combination of vacationers and city dwellers has created an image of The Berkshires as the quintessential rural New England community with strong ties to fall foliage, the arts and local chef driven farm to table restaurants.
From the iconic Tanglewood Music Center, artists from every genre play their music throughout the summer to sold out crowds sitting on Tanglewood’s famous lawn. In particular, the annual summer concert series at Tanglewood by the Boston Symphony Orchestra is what helps to give The Berkshires their reputation as a sophisticate arts community.
This image is fortified by the long history of summer stock plays that has been a tradition in The Berkshires dating back over 100 years. Whether it is performances in the early 1900’s by Helen Hayes, Al Jolson, Will Rogers, or Sarah Bernhardt; or during the middle of the 20th century with performances by Katherine Hepburn and James Cagney; or more modern day actors such as Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman, summer stock plays in The Berkshires are filled with actors you know or new young actors that you will soon know.
There is also a thriving local artist and sculpture community that lives in the area year round. Add to this a series of picturesque lakes and ponds with waterfront homes along with mountains that in the winter serve skiers at Jiminy Peak, Ski Butternut, Catamount, Berkshire East, Otis Ridge and Bousquet Mountain. What you end up with is a very special corner of New England unlike anywhere else with its rich culture and beautiful natural resources.
|Springfield Metro Population
|Largest Cities & Towns by Population –|