Selecting the site for your retail shopping store can be exciting. The entire process seems a lot more “real” when you find a physical location that you can imagine calling your own, and the temptation is often to jump at the first decent location you come across. This is unwise, however; as in selecting a house, it is always prudent to consider different options, and ultimately to decide with your head and not your heart!
Indeed, you know the Golden Rule of Real Estate—location, location, location! That is very true when it comes to picking the site for your retail store; the location you choose could mean all the difference between business failure and business success. That is why it is important to think critically about the different facets of retail site selection.
Naturally, the amount of space you obtain is key. How much space does your business need? That is a question that must be answered on an individual basis, but a good methodology is to get out a whiteboard, or a pad and paper, and start brainstorming some ideas of what your targeted customers might expect. How many aisles will they want, and how wide should those aisles be? Will endcaps and front-store displays be a good idea? Also, how much office space will you require?
It is also important to think about who your target shoppers are, in comparison to the neighborhoods or shopping centers you are looking at. What kinds of people live near your proposed store location, and how far will your ideal shoppers have to travel to find you? The demographics of your neighborhood matter a great deal, so thoroughly researching them is important.
Know the Competition
It is also crucial to make sure you know who our competitors would be, in a given location, and to get a good sense of the good competitors as well as the bad. Yes, there are such things are good competitors and bad ones. Bad competitors are the ones who will have a negative impact on your business—maybe selling the very same products you are selling, and doing so at discounted rates. Good competitors, meanwhile, are ones that will draw in a similar target audience to the one you are pursuing, and ultimately help you to increase foot traffic.
Understanding local traffic patterns is also important, yet another area in which research is crucial. Is your proposed location easily accessible, from both directions? How many cars drive by, and how many pedestrians? What kind of proximity does the location have to public transit?
Rules and Regulations
Finally, it is essential to know what rules and regulations govern a particular area. Are there by-laws within the shopping center that might prohibit certain kinds of products or displays? What about city zoning ordinances? If you wish to build, remodel, or expand your premises one day, will you be allowed to do so? All of these are questions that must be addressed before you can move in!
Ultimately, the location you choose will, to a large extent, dictate the success of your business—which makes site selection pivotal. There are various commercial real estate companies that provide expert site selection services, and enlisting their assistance might be a tremendous investment in your company’s future!
For potential retail business owners near the Wilmington North Carolina area that are interested in retail real estate listings, visit Harley and Associates for more information.
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