There are various factors that lead to making a perfect choice for a retail location.
- The population as well as your customer: First of all, start with researching the city area where you wish to establish your retail location. Before jumping down to any final conclusion, it is necessary that you do thorough research about the place. You can do so by reading the local newspaper and having a healthy discussion with other local small businesses. You can also get access to location demographics from the local library, the Census Bureau, or the Chamber of Commerce. You can even seek the help of specialty research firms for detailed demographic information. Basically, you must gather and study all the details related to income brackets, the area’s population, as well as the median age. You must ensure that your retail location is in proximity to your customers.
- Types of goods you deal in: Do a thorough inspection of the products that you are going to sell. On the basis of that merchandise, you will be able to define your store as a specialty shop, a convenience store pr a shopping store.
In case yours is a convenience store, then you need to keep in mind that your store should be easily accessible to your consumers. They should be able to make an easy and hassle-free purchase. You will be dealing with products which are of general interest to your customers. Thus, it is obvious that a mall is definitely not the right option for a convenience store because the price can be quite different as compared to other pricey products of the mall. Rather, you can locate your consumer stores along a heavily trafficked route or near a transit hub. This will ensure that customers will visit your store on their way to the office or home.
Shopping stores deal with inexpensive, luxury items, such as upscale clothing, furniture, cars, and so on. Since the prices are high, your customers will definitely wish to make an elaborate comparison with your rivals. Hence, it will be an intelligent decision to locate your shopping store far away from your competitors.
Also Read: Classification of Retailers
Specialty goods are those which cater to the unique requirements of the customers. Hence, consumers can even go out of the way to procure these goods since these are not available in a local convenience store. Try establishing your specialty goods store near other shopping locations so that all the stores complement each other in terms of offerings.
- Accessibility, visibility, and traffic: A lot of traffic does not necessarily mean an increased number of customers. You should locate your store in an area where there are so many shoppers who fit into your criteria of target consumers. You should keep in mind several factors like adequate parking space, availability of public mode of transport, the number of people who walk or drive past the location of your store, etc. Also, keep in mind that your store should be well visible to your potential customers. In that case, you will not have to spend much on advertisements.
- Competition and neighbors: If there are other similar businesses going around the location which you have chosen, then it can bring loss to your business. For instance, your discount variety store may not work well around a high-end fashion boutique showroom.
- Signage, zoning, and planning: When finalizing the lease, you need to go through the policies, rules, and procedures with utmost vigilance. If you have any doubts or need any details regarding the signage, you can take the assistance of the zoning commission or local city hall. There can be various aspects such as limits on the type of imagery in use or size of imagery etc. Enquire about all those restrictions which may impact the operation of your retail store. Also, think well ahead of time and do thorough research regarding the alterations of the near future. These changes, too, can affect your business significantly in the near future.
- Location costs: Apart from the base rent, you will also have to take care of the location-based expenses, such as lawn care and security, property taxes, painting and remodeling, upkeep and repair, etc. Also, consider these factors for future days as well. Remember, while choosing the best location for your retail store, you need to be far-sighted.
- Personal factors: If you have plans of working in your store, then make sure you consider certain personal aspects as well. You should be aware of the distance that you will be commuting on a daily basis from your residence to your store. You cannot devote much time to travelling from one place to another.
- Some other factors: There can be certain special requirements for your store. For instance, you might want to consider aspects like the requirement of lights, hardware and fixture installations, availability of restrooms for staff, canopy for rainy days, adequate sanitation services, police and fire protection, and so on.
While choosing a location for your retail store, never make any rash decisions. Invest ample time for conducting these elaborate researches and study all the data you receive. Only after that, you can choose the best location for your shop.