There's good reason for the success of retail in the Columbus Region-it's a gigantic magnet for talent.

There's good reason for the success of retail in the Columbus Region-it's a gigantic magnet for talent.

Development and growth of the retail sector in the Columbus Region is a huge draw for people with a flair for retail. In turn, the expertise and synergy of that workforce feeds the prosperity of the industry and the community, says David Kornberg, president and CEO of Express.

"Many people from all over the world come here based on our retail population; it is great for drawing talent," Kornberg says. "And retail here has also helped develop Columbus into a more cosmopolitan city over time because of all the creative people who live here."

The community and the people in it set the tone, and many local retail businesses and other organizations, like the Columbus Foundation, work together to build up the Region with important initiatives, he says.

"The area is great for products and Columbus itself is a very good measure for the pulse of the US consumer," Kornberg says. "By having a strong pool of high-caliber talent and skills with this many people is an extraordinary benefit for retail businesses."

Express, like other current retail operations in the area, was born out of Limited Brands. The company targets 20- to 30-year-old men and women, selling specialty apparel and accessories.

With its headquarters and a distribution center here, Express employs 800 people in Columbus. Along with e-commerce, the company now has 600 retail outlets in the US and Canada.

"We love it here and the availability of the regional ecosystem helps facilitate a lot of what we do," Kornberg says. "There are a lot of ancillary support service businesses located here."

In retail, omnichannel has become a buzzword, but it's a segment projected for major growth. This approach provides a seamless shopping experience over multiple channels-online, mobile and within bricks-and-mortar. With the Region being such a technology hotbed over the last few years, positive developments will occur in this direction within the local retail industry, Kornberg says.

"We believe we will benefit from this because Express is becoming more and more an omnichannel shopping experience," he says. "One great driver for the economy is high tech and if Columbus is to succeed, the high-tech development must continue."

After four years of work, the company itself recently implemented a new management technology system that is expected to provide major benefits.

"These new systems will let us take the omnichannel world even more seriously, which will be fundamentally a great enabler for the business," Kornberg says. "Customers want to buy things when and where they want and have them delivered or pick them up when and where they want. Omnichannel lets us do that."

Columbus' retail ecosystem is strong and getting stronger, Kornberg says, because of its history, talent, technology, location and accessibility.

"Being close to New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago makes it a perfect location for moving goods around," he says.

That's not to say future upgrades for getting to far-reaching locales aren't in order.

"I would really love to see direct flights to Europe and Asia," Kornberg says. "That would be the icing on the cake for Columbus."