Market and Franchise Law Analysis
Michigan Honda Dealerships
The attorneys representing three franchised dealers of American Honda in Michigan retained Anderson Economic Group after American Honda appointed a new dealer within the primary market areas of their clients. Anderson Economic Group was tasked with evaluating the effects of the new dealer on the existing dealer’s sales, service, and other revenues, as well as the impact on profitability and market value.
We completed an expert report that began with an evaluation of the fundamental rationale of the franchise relationship, and the responsibilities of both parties. The report continued with a detailed analysis of sales data, the pattern of sales as distance from the retail outlet increases, the geographic and demographic characteristics of the changed market areas, and the likely effect of the new dealer on the sales of the existing dealer. We then completed a valuation and damages estimate that translated the lost sales into tangible figures for the court. Patrick Anderson and Victor Wrotslavsky were deposed on the contents of the report.
The Cities of Centerline, Eastpointe, Roseville, St. Clair Shores, and Warren, Michigan are located just north of Detroit, and are among the largest cities in the metro Detroit region. The attorneys for the Cities retained Anderson Economic Group after an insurance company filed suit against the Cities.
A statistical survey was introduced into evidence by the plaintiff to demonstrate the behavior of the residents of the communities in years previous to the filing of the lawsuit. Anderson Economic Group provided expert analysis, a report, and testimony in deposition on the defects in the methodology used for the survey. The analysis included extensive review of the proper statistical methodology used in survey research, identification of sources and forms of bias, and a monte-carlo demonstration model showing how the proper methodology differed from that followed by the creator of the submitted survey.
In one of the largest judgments of its kind, the Cities were awarded $207 million in damages and compound interest in January of 2002.
The City of Cincinnati, founded in 1788, is one of the leading cities in the Midwest, and is home to 320,000 people in the City itself, and over 1.6 million people in the metropolitan area. Cincinnati was a pioneer in incorporating planning in the government, and adopts a biennial operating budget of about $731 million, plus a capital budget of about $251 million. The main sources of funds are income and property taxes.
To ensure the City Council and Finance Department have the best available information on current and likely future tax revenue, the City retained Anderson Economic Group to provide forecasts of income and property revenue, as well as state-funded local government revenue, for the next six years. AEG evaluated the economy of Ohio and its relationship to the US economy, and the local economy, demography, geography, and fiscal structure. AEG then used a sophisticated statistical methodology to determine how economic fluctuations in the past had affected the most important revenue sources for Cincinnati.
AEG developed a dynamic forecasting model for the City, including an independent assessment of likely future economic conditions. Assuming stable fiscal policies, the resulting general fund revenues from major sources. Using this model, and professional judgement on the current state of the economy, AEG forecasted tax base and tax revenue for the City, based on reasonable policy and economic assumptions, for the succeeding six years.
AEG prepared a lengthy report, which was presented to the City Finance Department and to the City Council in a public hearing. The report included a discussion of the methodology, assumptions, and revenue forecasts.
Our client was a large auto group that operates franchises that include Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Lincoln-Mercury, Mazda, Honda, Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep in markets around the country.
Our client was awarded a desirable luxury vehicle franchise in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. The manufacturer provided our client with a market report that suggested sites away from the growing population and high income areas. The group retained Anderson Economic Group to conduct a thorough site-selection analysis, including a site visit, analysis of prospective sites, demographic trending, past auto sales analysis, and projected sales for select locations.
Our analysis was conducted in three stages, each adding additional information and revising the list of potential candidates. Sites were screened based upon geography, road network, population, household income levels, projected growth in income-qualified households, luxury vehicle registrations in the nearby area, and the location of competitive dealerships and their statutory protest zones.
Basing our findings on the location of income-qualified buyers, we recommended a final cut of two prospective sites. One was selected on the basis of factors including income growth, population growth, historical sales of luxury vehicles, and the impact of competitor locations.
Retail Market Study
Sodexho USA – Bowie, Maryland
Anderson Economic Group (AEG) was retained by Sodexho USA to conduct a market feasibility study for a historic preservation building near Bowie University, Maryland. Sodexho, a food and facilities management services company, was interested in converting a historic building into a quality restaurant with southern, African-American or Soul Food cuisine.
Anderson Economic Group provided an assessment of the market conditions and likely success of the proposed restaurant. We conducted a site visit of the proposed historical building and rigorous field analyses in the City of Bowie and surrounding communities. We also performed an analysis of local demographics, comparing the proposed development’s trade area with the City of Bowie, Prince George, and Anne Arundel Counties, and the State of Maryland. Our market feasibility analysis also included a rigorous supply and demand analysis of restaurants. Using our market study, Sedexho USA was able to developed a highest and best use strategy for the historic preservation building.
I-70 Widening Project
Economic and Market Analysis – Columbia, Missouri
Anderson Economic was commissioned by The Economic Development Research Group of Boston to study the effects of widening the I-70 freeway in Columbia Missouri. The EDR group requested that AEG complete an analysis of the possible relocation of businesses that were to be demolished during the freeway construction project.
The Missouri Department of Transportation, with the assistance of several consulting firms, is currently preparing plans for the future widening and reconstruction of I-70 across the state from St. Louis to Kansas City. In Columbia, MoDOT has determined that widening I-70 in its present location is the best course of action based on traffic projections and input from a citizen advisory group and the general public.
Anderson Economic Group provided a detailed analysis concerning the impact of widening the I-70 freeway in Columbia, Missouri . The widening project will affect businesses in the right-of-way of the freeway. These businesses will be displaced and special consideration was given regarding the relocation viability of the businesses. The analysis placed special emphasis on how the project would impact employment by category, relocation concerns, and appraisal values in the study area.
AEG presented the findings of the report to the City of Columbia and they used our analysis to minimize the impact of the widening project on existing businesses.
Public School Per-Pupil Funding Disparity Analysis
Equity in Education Foundation – Michigan
The Equity in Education Foundation was established by the Word of Faith International Christian Center to address the inequality of per-pupil funding between Michigan’s public school districts.
Anderson Economic Group helped the Foundation understand the constitutional argument against funding inequality, and organize legal and public relations campaigns. As part of this process, AEG issued a report analyzing the funding characteristics of all public and charter school districts within the state. The analysis included a comparison between Michigan’s “hold-harmless” school districts and non hold-harmless districts, a look at the change in disparity since the passage of Proposal A in 1994, an assessment of the relationship between different types of funding and student performance, and a geo-spatial analysis of funding information through the use of our Geographic Information System (GIS) facility.
Retail Market Analysis and Feasibility Study
The Taubman Company – Nassau County, New York
The Taubman Company, a nationally known developer with 30 premier shopping centers throughout the United States, retained Anderson Economic Group to conduct a market study assessing the supportability of a proposed regional shopping center in Nassau County, New York. The market area is affluent but very competitive, and the proposed regional mall received strong resistance from community residents who did not want just another mall.
Anderson Economic Group conducted a quantitative analysis that included detailed field work and retail inventories, analysis of resident demographics and resident expenditure patterns on department stores and other retail categories, and an evaluation of site characteristics. We detailed the benefits and risks of the project, and formulated an achievable tenant mix for the project.
The results of our analysis indicated sufficient market support for the proposed mall, to be anchored by Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, and a selection of other fashion tenants. The project’s success will depend on a high-quality project and creation of an enjoyable, entertaining and pedestrian-friendly shopping environment, with a recommended tenant mix that encourages shopping, dining and other activities that extend into the evening hours.