Running a retail business is hard enough in today’s society. With many shoppers forsaking the high street in favour of the online retail alternative, more stores across the country are closing down.
To give yourself a fighting chance, you need to do all you can to make your retail business a success. Part of this is in finding the perfect location, ensuring you are placed in a prime position to get the sales you are looking for.
In this article, we will list several factors that need to be taken into account when choosing a location.
Consider the following:
Footfall – You need to be where the people are, so avoid remote areas or streets where people are less likely to frequent. Commercial properties near the town centre or close to public transport services are perfect, as you are going to get people passing by (and hopefully into your store).
Crime rates – The crime rate will depend on where you live, but there are bound to be areas of your town where crime is more prevalent than others. You can take security measures, but it may be safer to locate your retail business in an area that is considered safe.
Convenience – The location of your store needs to be convenient for everybody to get to. We have already mentioned public transport routes, as these are helpful for you, your employees, and your customers. Consider parking options too, and look for an area where free or permit parking is readily available for your employees and your customers.
The competition – Ideally, you need to situate your business in an area where you have little competition. So, if you are wanting to run a flower shop, for example, it makes little sense to do so if there are supermarkets or other florists within the locality. At the very least, you will have to do something to make your business stand out with traditional advertising if there are stores selling similar products nearby, but it makes financial and practical sense to be the lone retailer for your kind of business.
Economics – An area hit by the recession is a bad location idea for many retailers, as spending power will be limited. This, of course, depends on the kind of store you want to open, but a high-end fashion outlet, for example, is unlikely to gain a lot of custom in poorer areas. If you are selling products at a premium price, you need to be located in an area where people have money to spend – property rental will probably be higher, but your store profits should cover this if you market yourself correctly.
Demographics – Who is your store aimed at? If you are looking for a younger demographic, for example, then it’s practical to locate yourself in trendy shopping areas, or somewhere near places of education. To give you a clearer idea, it’s worth using a location analyst tool, as this will give you an overview of a number of factors relating to demographics in the locations you are considering.
We hope our tips have been helpful to you. Each location idea should ensure you a greater chance of success. Continue your research by checking out current retail areas, speaking to estate agents and other store owners, and then considering the options available to you. We wish you every success in your retail business.