ConAgra Moving Out of Omaha

ConAgra will relocate its headquarters from Omaha to Naperville, IL.

By now you have heard that ConAgra is moving their corporate headquarters to Chicago. While this is not good news, you should not consider this to be the end of the world. Please consider the following:

In 1986, Enron announced they were moving and taking 2,500 employees with them. What was unannounced was that US West was leaving Omaha and relocating a similar number of employees to Denver, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland and other areas. Over a course 2 years, Omaha lost some 5,000 well-paid people.

In 1989, fueled by ConAgra and Union Pacific, Omaha started an economic expansion that has now lasted some 25 years. That momentum continues.

Losing 900 people will hurt but it will pale in light of the movement we saw 30 years ago. We have seen many start-ups that employ many, many people. Existing businesses appear to be doing well. Omaha is expected to add some 7,000 jobs in the next 12 months. So, even with this bump in the road, new opportunities will emerge and Omaha will continue to expand.

We will pay close attention to pre- and post-October 1 sales activity to see what measurable effect this announcement is having on the market. As a guidepost, sales fell from 250/week to 160/week following the Enron announcement in 1986. We will take a wait and see approach and get the facts on sales trends before we begin to formulate any opinions relating to sales trending and price trending.

Created: October 01, 2015