Your retail store location will have a significant impact on your public image, foot traffic, future revenue potential, and other factors. Choosing a store location without taking these elements into account may hinder the company’s capacity to flourish and grow.
Define how you picture your business now and in the future before deciding on a retail store location, ask yourself these questions:-
- What are the demographics of your customer base?
- Are you able to visualize your structure?
- Do you have a clear idea of what you want to sell and how you want to be known?
- Have you calculated how much retail space, storage space, or office space you’ll need?
If you don’t know the answers to these simple questions, it will be difficult to select the ideal retail store location for you to maximize profit.
Goods Sold at your Retail Store Location
Examine the products you sell, as some will necessitate specific types of store locations. Is your business a convenience store, a specialist store, or a retail mall?
- Convenience products should be easy to access so that customers can make a rapid purchases. Consumers are also interested in these products generally. Buying convenience goods at a mall may not be the best idea because these goods are likely to be priced differently than those offered by other merchants at the mall. Convenience stores located near the places where customers commute may attract customers more frequently. For example, you may want to take up space near a transit hub or along a frequently travelled route.
- Specialty goods meet more specific needs than general-purpose items. Customers are often willing to go out of their way to get these products because they can’t get them at a convenience or general goods store. Because their offerings may complement each other, this store may do well in proximity to other retail store locations.
- A big-ticket shopping business typically sells things purchased seldom by the client at a greater price. A big-ticket shopping business sells items including furniture, vehicles, and premium clothing. These buyers will want to compare prices before purchasing because the prices of these things are greater. This segment’s retailers would do well to place their stores far away from their competitors.
Important factors to keep in mind when selecting a Retail Store Location
1. Your customer and the population
Before deciding on a city or state to open a retail store, do extensive research on the area. Read the local papers and talk to other local small businesses. Consult the local library, chamber of commerce, or the Census Bureau for demographic information on the area. Speciality research businesses with a retail focus may also be able to offer demographic information. From any of these sources, you can find information about the region’s population, income groups, and median age. You already know who your clients are, so choose a place close to where they live, work, and shop.
2. Traffic, visibility, and accessibility
Don’t mistake a high volume of traffic for a large number of clients. Retailers want to be in areas with so many customers, but only if those customers fit their target market criteria. By having larger stores nearby, smaller establishments may benefit from foot traffic. Along these lines, a few things that retailers should think about are:-
- How many people pass by the place walking or by car?
- Is public transportation well-served in the area?
- How easy is it for consumers and delivery vehicles to enter and exit the parking lot?
- Is there sufficient parking?
It’s a good idea to have 5 to 8 parking places every 1,000 square feet of retail space, depending on the business. When assessing visibility, take the customer’s perspective into account. In many cases, the more accessible your retail store is, the less advertising you need to run. It will be more difficult to promote a specialist retail establishment located six miles outside of town than a shopping center.
3. Zoning, signage, and planning
Make sure you understand all the rules, policies, and processes that apply to your retail shop site before signing a lease. For information on signage laws, contact your local city hall and zoning commission. There may be restrictions on the size and signage you can use to promote your business. Inquire about any restrictions that may apply to your retail operation, as well as any prospects that may alter traffic patterns, such as highway construction.
4. Neighbors and competition
Other local businesses in your potential location can help or hinder your retail store. Check to see if the types of businesses in the area are appropriate for your store. for example, If next door is a budget variety store, a high-end designer boutique will have challenges competing. To get the best results, put it near a manicure or hair salon, which tends to attract the same demographic of clients.
5. Costs of the location
Consider all location-based expenditures when choosing a retail store location, including the base rent such as:-
- Who is responsible for grass maintenance and security?
- Who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the heating and air conditioning units?
- Will you need to paint or alter the space to make it suitable for your needs?
- Will the retailer be liable for real estate taxes?
The place you can afford now may differ from what you can afford later. Making sales predictions for a new firm is tough. One way to figure out how much rent you can afford is by finding out how much sales similar retail shops make and how much rent they pay.
6. Personal aspects
Consider work-life balance issues such as the distance between your store and your house, as well as other personal considerations, if you plan to work in your store. If you spend so much time going to and from work, the benefits of becoming your own boss may be overshadowed by the commute. Furthermore, various constraints imposed by a landlord, management company, or community on a tenant can limit a retailer’s independence.
7. Final points to consider
- Will the store necessitate special lighting, fixtures, or other hardware?
- Are there restrooms for both employees and customers?
- Is the neighbourhood adequately protected by fire and police?
- Is there any sanitation service?
- Is there a canopy over the building that will provide shelter if it rains?
- Are there any limits on Sunday sales?
Don’t rush into deciding on your retail store location. Make sure you do your research and thoroughly examine the area. If you have to move the store’s opening date back on your calendar, do so. It’s preferable to wait for the ideal store location rather than taking the first one that comes along.